Butterfly Garden

Many people would like to have a butterfly garden that is the envy of the neighborhood. However, they may not have any idea of where to start. A butterfly garden should provide the basics of survival for butterflies. Then the task of creating a butterfly garden becomes a simple matter.

The things that butterflies need are these, shelter, food, water and a place to lay their eggs and reproduce. If you supply them with these requirements, then you should have no problem in creating the perfect butterfly garden.

Butterflies are cold blooded, which means that they need the warmth of the sun to help them regulate their body temperature. With that in mind, you need to plan on making your butterfly garden in a full-sun location that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Butterflies have very delicate wings; a strong wind can tear their wings apart. So you need to keep that in mind, as you are planning your butterfly garden. Try to find a location that is sheltered from the prevailing winds. You can also put up a fence or a hedge of shrubs to provide shelter for your butterfly garden from the wind.

Butterflies love to be around a source of water. So you will want to be sure to have some kind of water around your garden. The common solution is to purchase a birdbath at your local garden center. Another great option, but slightly more costly, would be to install a small pond, and pump water through it. Other options would be to simply just put a dish of water out there on a post or something similar.

Whichever flowers you decide to plant in your butterfly garden, be sure that they are flowers that produce lots of nectar. Like hummingbirds, butterflies are attracted to the nectar of the flowers instead of the pollen. Honeysuckle is always a great choice. There are many other kinds of nectar producing flowers as well though. Lilacs and most kinds of lilies also have nectar.

All butterflies are near-sighted, so they are attracted by large groups of brightly colored butterfly flowers that will provide them with abundant amounts of nectar through the spring, summer, and fall. If you plant single flowers the butterflies may not be able to see them.

Butterflies mainly visit daisy-like flowers and the flat topped type of flowers. Flowers that produce large amounts of nectar are most suitable for your butterfly garden, because they will provide plenty of food for your butterflies.

Some other things that butterflies need to stay healthy are water and minerals; so you should plan on including either a muddy spot, or devise a “permanent mud puddle” in your butterfly garden. By doing this, you will supply a place for the butterflies to get the water and minerals that they need.

The butterflies that visit your garden will also be seeking host plants to lay their eggs on, so that they may continue their life cycle. Most butterflies have a specific plant that they use as a host plant. For instance the Monarch butterfly only uses plants that are in the Milkweed family to lay their eggs on. So, it would most likely be advisable to do a little research to find which plants are most suitable for you and the butterflies you want to attract.

Butterflies are everywhere, and they are very easy to attract to your garden. By providing for their basic needs; you will create a place that makes butterflies feel welcome, and a place where they will also want to stay around for awhile.

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