How To Create A Butterfly Habitat In Your Garden

Thom W. Conroy By Thom W. Conroy, 28th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Flowers

With the right flowers the butterflies will certainly come

It's all about timing

On of the greatest benefits a gardener receives from all of their labor is not only the ability to view beautiful plants and flowers whenever they desire, but to study the creatures that are drawn to them. Creating a butterfly habitat in your garden not only serves the purpose of amusing adults, but kids and grandkids will be mesmerized by the quantity and diversity of the butterfly species that are easily attracted to a well planned habitat. The work associated with making your garden butterfly friendly is minimal, the rewards tremendous, and the effort a good learning experience. The basic premise of creating a good butterfly habitat is little more than knowing what and where to plant, when to plant it, and a small bit of knowledge in what butterflies find attractive.

To begin with, caterpillars consume what are known as "larval" plants and flowers, such as violets, milkweed, marigolds and Queen Anne's Lace. Butterflies on the other hand, devour "nectar" plants, like lilacs, snapdragons, zinnias and sunflowers. It is very important to keep this in mind - the wrong plant grown at the improper time will net a gardener nothing in the way of an increased butterfly population. The best results in creating a butterfly habitat in your garden is to plant a diverse selection of differing vegetation that is known to be a part of the butterfly diet. What plants to choose and when to plant them can be aided by a trip to your local nursery. With their help, a gardener can have a constant stream of blooming plants that will keep the butterflies in your garden all summer.

Another necessary aspect of a good butterfly habitat is to place vegetation in an area protected from harsh winds so that the butterfly's can maintain their position without excessive effort. Feeding areas for butterflies should have at least 6 hours daily of sunlight and an adequate positioning of shelter for them to protect against predators. The issue of shelter can be resolved simply by ensuring that there are large shrubs, trees or a strategically placed wood pile in close proximity to the butterfly's food source. Creating a small puddle of water near the flowers will provide the butterfly's with a good water source so they will not have to leave in search of hydration. Butterfly's also like to "sunbathe", so a few small rocks scattered about will provide them with a good resting place.

There are around 700 species of butterflies in North America, and if you follow the aforementioned tips it is a certainty that you will be fortunate enough to view your fair share.

Tags

Garden Design, Garden Flowers, Garden Journal, Garden Planning, Gardener, Gardening, Gardens

Meet the author

author avatar Thom W. Conroy
A freelance writer living in Ohio, USA, writing on whatever topics catch my fancy.

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