How to Attract Butterflies to Your Yard
There are five basic things to remember when planning a butterfly garden.
1. Butterflies love sunlight!
Whether you choose to plant a traditional garden or a container garden, make sure that the plants are in direct sunlight for much of the day.
2. Butterflies like to "puddle."
Your garden needs a sort of watering hole for the butterflies to drink from. This can be done by simply filling a terra cotta pot or small plastic bucket with small rocks or pebbles about two inches from the brim. Add water to fill the remaining space. Place the puddle in the center of your garden.
Swallowtail butterfly on giant sunflower
Black swallowtail butterfly on orange-red daylily
3. Butterflies like lots of color!
Group clusters of the same plant together to make them easier for butterflies to see. A group of colorful flowers attracts them easier than single flowers.
4. Butterflies love to eat nectar.
Use several of these nectar-producing plants to attract them: milkweed, azalea, goldenrod, black-eyed susan, zinnia, aster, phlox, Japanese honeysuckle, ironweed. A few nectar-producing shrubs are: butterfly bush, various fruit trees, privet, lilac and redbud.
5. Butterflies need a place to lay their eggs.
Witness the entire lifecycle of your new garden friend! Provide host plants where female butterflies can lay their eggs.
Some host plants include: snapdragon, violets, milkweed, daisies, parsley, dill, Queen Anne's Lace, aster and clovers.
About the Author Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent: Fun & Fast Activities for You and Your Little Ones, available at Amazon.
About the Photographer - Lee Hansen My garden is a butterfly haven, with thousands of colorful annual, perennial, and flowering shrubs for them to feed on and find shelter. I enjoy photographing all nature, and especially the interesing "flying flowers" who visit my garden every year from spring until late fall.
Monarch butterfly on purple butterfly bush
Yellow butterfly on purple coneflower