Attract Butterflies to your garden

Nothing screams summer to me more than seeing butterflies in my garden. I adore them as artistic beauty, and in my spirituality. To me, butterflies represent transition, freedom, a new perspective on life, and their appearance reminds me to be more lighthearted and rid myself of stress. I also associate butterflies with loved ones that have passed on, life after death. Because of that reason, I have a butterfly tattoo on my ankle. Did I just get a little too deep or what?

Did I forget to mention that gardening is a great way to unwind and get in some self-care in the process? Sitting back after your worth it hard work with a glass of iced tea or cold water as the fruits of your labor starts to attract butterflies to your garden is an added bonus. Sit back, relax and enjoy it.

If you don’t have a yard, you don’t have to worry. You do not have to have a large space to attract butterflies to your yard. You can invite them to your yard with potted plants on your patio, hanging plants, and window boxes.

In this article, I will share:

  • The one key thing you MUST do to attract butterflies to your garden.
  • What plants butterflies love for nectar sources and for their “nurseries.”
  • How to create a butterfly “hotel.”
  • What mud-puddlin is and how to create a butterfly “bar.”

Attract Butterflies to your garden

5 Ways to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

1. Ditch the pesticides.

    They are lethal to your visiting guests, not to mention to your pets, kids, etc.

   Pesticides kill many of the hosts butterflies depend on for survival. An example of this is the milkweed that Monarch’s consume.

2. Grow plants butterflies love.

Attract Butterflies to your garden

    Adult butterflies are attracted to plants that have yellow, red, orange, purple and pink blossoms, especially those of the flat top, tubular or clustered varieties.

    Try to keep continuous blooms in your garden to keep them coming back. Just as one plant is going out of bloom, another should start.

   Butterflies prefer plants that are in full sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

Want to know more about the lifecycle of a butterfly? Visit the Butterfly Pavillion’s Chrysalis Camera.

A handful of plants to grow as nectar sources:

  • Native Flowering plants to your area
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Phlox
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Catmint
  • Cornflower
  • Daylily
  • Hollyhocks
  • Lavender
  • Lilac
  • Lupine
  • Pansy
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Snapdragon
  • Trumpet Vine

3. Plant host plants for butterflies to have their babies

Please don’t confuse moth caterpillars with butterfly caterpillars. Butterfly caterpillars don’t cause leaf damage like moth caterpillars do. Butterfly caterpillars are very picky about what they eat. We have to encourage caterpillars to continue to have more butterflies in this world.

Did you know? Since the 1990’s, there has been more than a 90 percent decline in Monarch butterflies. Find out if their numbers are up or down.

Types of hosts to plant for caterpillars.

Some of you are going to say “but some of these are weeds.” Rethink your idea about weeds, think of them as a nursery for caterpillars and helping to regrow the populations of these winged beauties.

  • Milkweed
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Cudweed
  • Lupines
  • Buckwheat
  • Ash
  • Tulip Tree
  • Willow
  • Citrus trees
  • Rue
  • Gooseberry
  • Azaela
  • Elm
  • Mistletoe
  • Blueberry plants
  • Thistles
  • Wisteria
  • Clover
  • Peas
  • Asters
  • Violets
  • Willow
  • Cottonwood
  • Aspen
Attract Butterflies to your garden
A butterfly “nursery”.

4. Create a butterfly “hotel.”

Give your winged guests a place to relax and sun themselves by placing flat stones in your garden. Keep these areas safe from the wind.

5. Create a butterfly “bar.”

Have you ever seen after it rains, butterflies on the ground around puddles? This is called “puddlin” or “mud-puddlin.” They are enjoying a drink and extracting minerals from the mud.

You can insert a pan filled with coarse sand into the soil in the garden, or you can recycle a bird bath for them to use. Fill the birdbath with soil, place a metal pan into the soil, fill with coarse sand. Either method, make sure you keep the sand damp, not flooded.

Your turn!

Do you welcome butterflies into your yard? What is your take on the meaning of the butterfly? Let me know in the comments below, and please share this post so we can all help increase the butterfly population!

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Bri K is a mom and grandmother, enjoying the next chapter of her life on the mission of leveling up after 50! Bri doesn't believe that once you hit a certain age or become a grandmother, your likes, hobbies, or lifestyle have to change. "You don't stop living because your kids grew up!"

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