Tips for attracting butterflies to your garden

It’s a simple pleasure to see butterflies bobble and float through the air before landing gently on a flower in your yard. If you’d like to attract more of these colorful critters, consider designing a butterfly garden.

When you create a butterfly garden, you not only get to enjoy more brightly winged visitors; you can also feel good about facilitating pollination of local plants since butterflies are great pollinators. (Yep, it’s not just bees!)

To make an attractive, effective butterfly garden, keep these tips in mind:

Go native: Native flowering plants provide nectar and foliage for butterflies in caterpillar and adult stages. Ask an expert at a Homestead Gardens store or click here for a helpful list you can reference and print out.

butterfly on purple coneflowerGet colorful: Colorful blooms are attractive to adult butterflies, particularly shades of red, yellow, orange, pink and purple. Try to plan continuous bloom schedules, meaning as one variety finishes blooming, another is just beginning to flower.

Shine on: Adult butterflies typically feed in the sun, so be sure your garden is brightly lit, particularly from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Add a butterfly house, if desired, to provide shelter and protection from the elements on those not-so-sunny days.

Opt for natural pesticides: If pest control is absolutely necessary for the health of your garden, opt for natural products. Homestead Garden experts recommend Natria products.

Nurture caterpillars: Research plant varieties that feed caterpillars and include them in your garden mix. By feeding young caterpillars you up your chances of seeing a higher quantity and more variety of butterflies. For instance, Monarchs need Milkweed and Swallowtails need parsley or dill.

Add garden rocks: Flat rocks can be a beautiful addition to your butterfly garden, plus they provide a much-needed space for butterflies to rest and stretch their wings. Place in the sun for an attractive pit stop for your winged friends.

Place puddles: Butterflies enjoy small muddy puddles as a source for water and nutrients. Simply place course sand in a small, shallow container in your garden and remember to maintain moisture levels. They’ll love it!

Interested in learning more about restoring pollinator habitats through butterfly gardens and other methods? Join Homestead Gardens’ Pollinator Club today.

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