The sight of butterflies fluttering around a garden is one of the prettiest ones you can enjoy, so it’s not surprising that many people want something similar of their own. Watching the butterflies in your own garden could be a soothing and relaxing pastime, while the garden itself will give you a constructive hobby. It will take some effort to make a proper butterfly garden, though, so check out the following steps and see if you’re up for it:
Growing and Keeping a Successful Butterfly Garden: The Key Factors
In order to have a successful butterfly garden in your green garden, you need to have several key ingredients. These include the following:
- The Right Plants
- An Appropriate Growing Environment
Gardening Tips: How to Make a Butterfly Garden
You need the right plants in order to achieve a proper butterfly garden. While it’s not necessary to row all of these, the following list will help you select plants that are sure to attract butterflies the most:
- Black-Eyed Susans
- Joe-Pye Weed
- Butterfly Bush
- Butterfly Weed
- Purple Coneflowers.
All of these plants are very attractive to butterflies due to their bright colors. The added bonus, of course, will be that your garden would look beautiful whether there are butterflies there or not!
Did you know that butterflies are near-sighted? The more you plant these beautiful, colorful blooms in masses, the more butterflies will be instantly drawn towards your garden. It is also suggested that you plant perennial flowering plants, which will provide nectar for the butterflies all year long.
The next step you have to accomplish with your butterfly garden is to provide the plants with sufficient water, and the butterflies with water fountains. This second ingredient – water – is an easy one to supply. Make sure the area around these plants is well soaked. You can also use small fountains, bird baths and other containers for holding water. By providing water, you’ll attract butterflies to your garden. If at all possible, try to make the water easily accessible and natural looking to help attract butterflies.
Recommended Plants for the Caterpillars
If you want the butterflies to multiply, you should also be prepared for caterpillars to hatch out there and grow up into their final form. The gardener has to provide an environment for the caterpillars to grow and feed before they turn into butterflies. Other than flowers, you also have to consider what kind of plants will help caterpillars stay healthy and satisfied.
You can plant the following plants in your garden for the caterpillars feed on. If you don’t want them to take away from the appearance of your flower garden, have these plants in hidden areas. The most highly recommended plants for caterpillars are as follows:
- Passion Flowers
These plants will make attractive feeding ground for caterpillars. They will thrive and grow with these options, hence making for healthy and active butterflies. You can also consider a vegetable patch that includes both cabbages and parsley.
Size of a Butterfly Garden
You don’t need to have a huge garden or even a proper piece of land in order to make your own butterfly garden. All you need is enough room for some pots or planters, and some good selections of flowers. As mentioned above, the flowers should be brightly colored. They should also be nectar-producing flowers, which are also usually very beautiful.
Along with the plants and flowers you choose, the placement of your butterfly garden is crucial to its success. You need to consider the location of your garden with great care, as this could mean the difference between attracting a lot of butterflies or none at all. Below are some factors to look at in order to make your garden the ideal location for butterflies in your area:
- A Lot of Sun: The kind of plants and flowers that attract butterflies generally required a lot of sunlight. Butterflies themselves thrive when there’s a decent amount of sun in the area. Hence, you should have your butterfly garden in a sunny spot that’s usually lighted for most of the year.
- Free of Pesticides: Pesticides might repel harmful insects, but they will also repel butterflies. If you want to have a proper butterfly garden, you shouldn’t be using pesticides at all. Go for organic methods while growing your plants and flowers, as synthetic pesticides will kill them or make them weak.
- Wind Protection: Butterflies are delicate creatures, so even a gust of wind can send them spinning. This is why they prefer sheltered places. You might want to consider sheltering your garden as much as possible. There are a few ways to go about this, including building a barricade or fence around your garden. Tall plants or shrubs may also do the trick, while a canvas shelter might do for a very small area. Using the tall plants option is probably the best one, as butterflies will also choose them for laying eggs.
Other Elements for a Butterfly Garden
There are several other elements that you can use to give your butterfly garden a beautiful touch. These can also attract even more butterflies when used in conjunction with the right flowers and plants. For instance, you can supplement the plant nectar with some nectar feeders. This will ensure that you have the proper supply of nectar even if there aren’t enough nectar-producing plants. You won’t have to devote more space to plants with this convenience.
Some decorative yet practical additions could also improve your butterfly garden and attract more species. These include butterfly houses, bird baths, decorative fountains, etc. If nothing else, consider keeping a permanent wet sand puddle in the garden in order to provide a cooler temperature. This will have the butterflies flocking to your garden when it’s too warm elsewhere! Rocks are also a way to add an elegant touch to your garden as well as provide warm and convenient places for the butterflies to sit.
A garden full of butterflies can be a really wonderful thing. There is nothing like seeing your child or grandchild see a garden full of butterflies. Having your own butterfly garden is a blessing, but it does require quite a bit of work. If you don’t have the time to prepare your garden, watch for butterfly gardens being promoted at your local zoo or arboretum. These can provide a lovely pastime, along with being an educational experience for you and your family.