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How to make a Butterfly-friendly garden

Updated on November 27, 2011

While urban areas are already growing at a fast pace, land spaces for natural meadows have also been reduced significantly. This then leads to less homes for beneficial insects such as butterflies. But there’s still a way to make these creatures find a home where they can feel free to roam and thrive, and that is in your garden. So how does one make a butterfly garden friendly? Simple. A butterfly-friendly garden only needs five essentials: a sunny location, some nectar preferences, a food source (particularly for the caterpillars), a safe haven (especially from strong winds, rain, and heat), and a water source (for drinking).

Sunny location for your butterfly garden

Butterflies help make our gardens look more visually appealing (amongst other ornaments in the garden). Not only does these insects make your garden look more alive and beautiful, butterflies also help pollinate much of our garden produce (especially the flowers). Now when creating a butterfly garden, start by finding a sunny spot (an area where both plants and insects will be protected) in your garden. The butterflies (and your garden plants) will certainly love the warmth that the sun will provide for their cold-blooded bodies. It’s also best that you plant those that thrive better when exposed to the sun.

A safe haven for the butterflies

After setting up your garden in a sunny location, it’s also best to consider making this area a safe place where they can be protected from harsh weathers. So instead of these creatures battling out with the strong winds or heavy rain while their roaming from one flower to another, make sure that you pick a place where they can be spared of such conditions. You can place butterfly houses or some flat rocks in your garden, as these can also be made into a resting place. Once these insects get tired from flying, they’ll still be able to absorb the heat from the rocks.

Nectar and food preferences

For the caterpillars (the larval stage of the butterfly life cycle), provide them only the organics. As for the mature butterflies, give them some nectar food. Your caterpillars can chew on some of the best selections of plants such as Milkweed, Wild Lupine, Dill, and Violets. The adult butterflies on the other hand typically prefer the following colors and tastes: flowers that are orange, pink, purple, and yellow in shade; and those that are recognized as wildflowers, herbs, grasses, shrubs, annuals, and perennials. They mostly like flowers like pansies, dandelions, bluebells, wallflowers, chrysanthemum, primroses, French marigold, lavender, mint, and honeysuckle (amongst other things).

Butterflies need drinking water too!

Butterflies need to drink water too. So make small mud puddle available for them always. You can also consider putting water-filled containers in your garden. But always make sure that it’s emptied and replaced with a new supply on a regular basis. These essentials will definitely help send out a butterfly-friendly garden to these beautiful creatures.


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