Anyone who spends a lot of time gardening is already familiar with the advantages that pollinators offer. By spreading pollen from one plant to another, they help crops perform better. Based on information from the USDA, the vast majority of plants rely on outside pollinators since they are incapable of pollinating themselves.
Few creatures add as much beauty to an outdoor space as butterflies. While walking through a garden filled with flowers is wonderful, if there are butterflies there, as well, the experience becomes even more magical.
Since butterflies come from caterpillars, the first step in the process is figuring out how to get more caterpillars to visit your garden. In order to do that, you need to choose plants that not only appeal to butterflies but also to caterpillars. Caterpillars and butterflies rely on different food sources, with caterpillars munching on leaves and butterflies consuming nectar. Never use pesticides in your garden. Although these products will help get rid of unwanted pests, they also can wind up harming or killing any caterpillars or butterflies that visit your garden.
Different types of caterpillars are attracted to different plants. Think about the types of butterflies that you want in your garden and then choose your plans accordingly. Some caterpillars eat a lot of different types of plants while others survive on a single plant species. For instance, asters are the primary food source for pearl crescent caterpillars.
Tips For Making Your Garden More Attractive To Butterflies
Don't use pesticides. Pesticides like diazinon, Sevin, and malathion are deadly to butterflies. Avoid applying these products to your garden at all costs. You may also want to encourage other people in your neighborhood to do the same. This is especially important in community gardens. Rather than using harmful products like these, learn as much as you can about natural pest control solutions to keep your garden beautiful and free from pests.
Choose plants that are native to your area. Native plants are a lot easier to grow and require fewer resources. Perhaps most importantly, they also do the best job of attracting butterflies that naturally live in your area.
Think about the amount of sun exposure. You don't need a huge garden to help butterflies. Even a little bit of extra space on your balcony or a small corner of your backyard can make a big difference – especially if the area gets a lot of sun. Butterflies tend to only eat in sunny areas, which is why it is important to make sure that your garden gets plenty of sun.
Choose colors that butterflies are naturally attracted to. That means going with brightly colored flowers in shades of pink, yellow, orange, purple, and red. Flower blossoms that are either flat or that have short tubes are the best choice for butterflies.
Try growing milkweed to attract beautiful monarchs. Choose your milkweed species carefully. The key is to plant the right type of milkweed. Selecting the wrong style won't benefit the monarch butterflies in your area.
Transform your garden into a miniature spa for butterflies. While you don't have to buy a tiny hot tub, you should create spaces where butterflies can rest and relax. Butterflies like spending time in sunny areas. Try setting out small tables or flat rocks where they can sun themselves. Puddling is another popular activity for butterflies. In essence, this means resting in sandy or muddy areas where there is a little bit of water. You can support this habit by putting sand in the bottoms of shallow dishes or pans, adding a touch of water, and placing them in sunny areas in your yard.