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How to Plant an Organic Butterfly Garden

Updated on January 30, 2013

Butterflies

Encouraging butterflies to visit your garden, and to set up home there, is not difficult. It will require some research and a careful selection of plant material but even a beginning gardener can create a garden that draws and keeps butterflies.

What is more you can grow vegetables at the same time as you establish the butterfly habitat. The whole garden does not need to be transformed into a butterfly paradise to bring these flying beauties into your yard, but you do not to put in plants that will feed them and offer them shelter so they can lay eggs.

In other words, butterflies require both nectar plants for food and host plants for homes.

Some butterflies are very fussy eaters so unless you plant their food preference they will not likely drop by and certainly will not stay.

For instance, the monarch butterfly only eats milkweed, so to attract them this is what you must plant.

Before you make your plant choices, you need to know what butterflies are native to yoru region. A trip to yoru local public library can help you find this out or contact a naturalist society.

The Butterflyesite will assist residents of the United States who want to find out which butterflies frequent their area.The site also provides information about butterfly species in other countries, so drop by as you begin your search.

Now that you know what butterflies live where you do, you can make appropriate plants selections. When it comes to selecting plants there are some that are well known as butterfly magnets and if they will grow well in your zone, this may be the way to proceed.

The butterfly bush or as it is formally known, Buddleia davidi, is a perennial shrub. The butterfly bush can grow to six feet in height and a width of four feet up; it all depends upon the growing conditions. You can plant it singly or in groupings, depending upon your space and interest. This one will bring in the butterflies.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is another plant that will draw the butterflies to your garden, this perennial looks good and is relatively easy to care for, so give it some thought.

If you have a garden but it does not have any herbs in it, give them some thought. Herbs work well as a design element in yoru landscape, can be used in cooking and some of them will bring in the butterflies. For example, both fennel and dill are host plants.

You do not need a lot of plants to attract butterflies but please be sure to garden organically, do not use artificial chemicals for that may harm them.

Concentrate on building healthy soil and adding organic material such as compost to the garden beds. Mulching is also a good idea to reduce watering needs and keeping the weeds under control.

It is not difficult to create a space that butterflies will not only visit but set up home. If you already have a garden three or four plants or one butterfly bush may be all you need.

Comments

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  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Plant away, thanks for stopping by.

  • LetitiaFT profile image

    LetitiaFT 

    6 years ago from Paris via California

    Great article, makes me want to go out and plant a butterfly garden.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • psychotropia profile image

    psychotropia 

    6 years ago from United States

    It will be true that the butterfly bush can grow to six feet in height and a width of four feet up; it all depends upon the growing conditions.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    I am glad the hub was helpful, happy gardening and thanks for dropping by.

  • profile image

    cosette 

    8 years ago

    that video was loaded with great information, as was your hub. i already have a lot of 'host' plants and 'nectar' plants and didn't even realize it. i can't wait to put this info to good use in a few weeks. bookmarking this one!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Happy gardening and thanks for dropping by.

  • jandee profile image

    jandee 

    8 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

    hello Bob,thanks for tel

    Thanks Bob,

    I will have a go at coaxing the Butterflies into my garden.

    All that vibrant beauty,

    jandee

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    They need the energy, thanks for dropping by.

  • Tenerife Islander profile image

    Steve Andrews 

    8 years ago from Tenerife

    Great hub, Bob! I have been rearing Monarchs here and I only have a balcony but growing Milkweed in pots is enough to attract the butterflies and a way of having food for the caterpillars. They certainly eat a lot though!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Happy Gardening and thanks for dropping by.

  • jayjay40 profile image

    jayjay40 

    8 years ago from Bristol England

    The magic of butterflies, great ideas, I'll be bookmarking this hub for when I plant out my flowers.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Mulch helps keep the weeds in line, thanks for dropping by.

  • ladylux profile image

    ladylux 

    8 years ago

    Thanks for the helpful info. I tried growing a butterfly garden at my last house, but had trouble getting the seedlings to outpace the weeds. Luckily this year my husband says he wants to take over the project. Yippee!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • lovelypaper profile image

    Renee S 

    8 years ago from Virginia

    Great hub. Very helpful.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    They are indeed, thanks for dropping by.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 

    8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    I love butterflies and gardens. What a great combination.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by

  • reddog1027 profile image

    reddog1027 

    8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    Another great hub.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    They are indeed worth watching, thanks for dropping by.

  • myawn profile image

    myawn 

    8 years ago from Florida

    . Nice hub I love butterflies they are so pretty to watch.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    8 years ago from London, UK

    Good advice and well written. Thank you.

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