Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures on earth. A butterfly garden is an easy way to attract more butterflies. It also helps butterflies, since many natural butterfly habitats have been lost to human activities like building homes, roads, and farms. A butterfly garden will increase the number and variety of butterflies in your yard. In order to create a butterfly garden you’ll need to evaluate your garden area and consider which plants to grow.
Many flowering plants will attract butterflies to your location, but not all flowers are created equal. The goal of creating a butterfly garden is to attract butterflies and encourage them to hang around for a while, laying eggs and creating a new generation. To do this, you’ll need to choose plants that fall into two categories: nectar plants that will provide food for adult butterflies and caterpillar food plants that will nourish caterpillars. In our area of northern Florida, some nectar sources to consider planting are milkweed, penta, cassia, abelia, and buddleia.
On the other hand, caterpillars will only use certain plants for food, most of which are different than what butterflies use as a food source. In order to encourage caterpillars to populate in your garden, provide a number of different flower shapes, colors, and sizes. Some plant species that attract caterpillars in our area are cassia, milkweed, passion vine, Dutchman’s pipevine, citrus, parsley, dill, fennel, canna lilies, tulip poplar trees, southern red cedar, dogwood trees, and redbud trees.
Make sure your garden area has a lot of sun, as it is essential to attracting butterflies. Try to include a spot in your garden where sunlight will reach the ground early in the day, and try to ensure that it will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight every day. Be sure to plant in groupings and understand each plants basic water, light, and soil requirements. Avoid using pesticides when possible as butterflies are very sensitive to pesticides.
The most obvious benefit of a butterfly garden is that it attracts wildlife, bringing butterflies and other species into your garden, but it also acts as a habitat conservation center! A butterfly garden acts as a safe haven for butterflies and other wildlife to seek shelter, food and water, and a place to reproduce. At Trad’s Garden Center, we recently launched our newest butterfly garden and couldn’t be happier! If you’re interested in creating a butterfly garden, stop by our Garden Center to check out our new butterfly garden for inspiration!