ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Planning A Backyard Butterfly Garden

Updated on July 26, 2017
Source

Learning what types of flowers will attract which butterflies can greatly increase your chances of seeing butterflies in your yard. Without actually creating a garden specifically for attracting butterflies, use these tips to draw unique and colorful butterflies to your own backyard.

Attracting and Feeding Butterflies:

The surest way of getting butterflies into your backyard, is planting native plants from your area. Butterflies and plants have co-evolved and depend on each other for reproduction and survival. Knowing what plants attract which butterflies can help you decide which native plants to introduce into your yard.

Not only are the plant types important, but color is equally as important. Only having a few flowers in attractive colors is less likely to attract butterflies than having clusters or groups of brightly colored flowers. Butterfly adults are attracted to yellow, orange, red, purple, and pink blossoms that are flat or clustered with short flower tubes.

Planting plants for butterfly caterpillars is also essential to bringing butterflies to your yard. Many think that caterpillars cause leaf damage, however butterfly caterpillars only eat a very limited amount of plants and do not cause major damage like the moth caterpillars.

Host plants are another essential item in butterfly gardens. Butterflies only lay their eggs on certain plants. Providing these plants insures that butterflies will continue to stay, live, and grow in your garden. Creating a habitat for each stage of the butterflies life is essential in keeping the butterflies around your yard or garden.

Butterfly Garden
Butterfly Garden | Source

Garden Layout: Designing for Butterflies

  • Butterflies require sunlight to warm their wings for flight. Plant tall species at the back of your flower beds and at adjoining property lines to create more sun areas and windbreaks. Planting compatible trees, shrubs, and flowers by their needs for moisture/dryness or sun/shade offers shelter, shade, and wind protection for caterpillars and butterflies. By mimicking nature's natural designs you can provide a living refuge for caterpillars and butterflies to reside.
  • Shallow sand puddles for drinking and pulling up minerals is essential for butterflies. Typically butterflies will only feed in the sun. Like wise providing flat surfaces for the butterflies to rest and bask in the sun provide better habitat for butterflies that may come into your yard. Adding decorative stones can be an easy way to add surface area for butterflies as well as keeping the look and layout of your yard or garden decorative and functional. As butterflies cannot drink from open water it is necessary to provide these wet puddles for drinking.
  • Plants and butterflies have evolved to mutually benefit from each other. Many plants advertise their nectar with fragrance yet others entice butterflies by providing convenient landing platforms. Flowers benefit when the butterflies move pollen from female to male flowers resulting in new plants.


To create a garden that is relatively stable once established, choose perennials which come back every year from overwintering roots. The Blanketflower is an annual flower that self-sows, meaning it can propogate on its own. You will still need to weed and thin plants, however you will have little to worry about in the way of planting new flowers.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pipevine SwallowtailZebra HeliconianCalifornia SisterGulf Fritillary
Pipevine Swallowtail
Pipevine Swallowtail | Source
Zebra Heliconian
Zebra Heliconian | Source
California Sister
California Sister | Source
Gulf Fritillary
Gulf Fritillary | Source

Attracting Butterflies of North America:

Wisconsin:

-Pipevine Swallowtail: Feeds solely on Pipevines none of which are native to Wisconsin. In recent years sightings in Madison and Milwaukee have been made, mainly associated with the plantings of Dutchmans Pipevine.

Texas:

-Zebra Heliconian: Feeds on nectar and pollen from lantana and shepherd's needle primarily. Lives in tropical hammocks and on the edges of fields.

California:

-California Sister: Primarily comes to mud and rotting fruit, however will occasionally come to flowers in fall months. Can be found throughout California, Oregon, and Washington often along edges of woods and small streams.

Maryland:

-Gulf Fritillary: Feeds on nectar lantana, cordia's, shepherd's needle, and others. Found in city gardens, open fields, and pastures.

Many of these butterflies can be found elsewhere in North America due to migration. Taking into consideration butterfly habitat and food patterns, you can greatly increase your likelihood of bringing these wonderful creatures into your backyard or garden. Many of these butterflies live near the edges of woody areas, however that does not mean that you cannot lure them into your yard. Plant bright and colorful flowers with easy to get to nectar in sunny spots and watch the varieties of butterflies come.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Shesabutterfly profile imageAUTHOR

      Cholee Clay 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thanks alocsin, I've always loved butterflies myself. Hoping to attract some new ones this coming spring.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I've always liked butterfly. If ever I have time to garden, you're hub tells me what to plant. Voting this Up and Useful.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)