Butterfly houses are an enchanting way to attract extra color and life to your garden. These charming little insects are one of the few most gardeners welcome and are a nice addition to your birding adventures.
What is a butterfly house?
Unlike birdhouses, which are designed for nesting, butterfly houses provide a safe haven for hiding. Butterflies naturally hide in crevices and dark places. The entrance to man-made shelters mimic these natural appearing places that may not exist in every yard. Adult butterflies will use the spot to hide from predators, in harsh weather and sometimes caterpillars will even find their way in for chrysalis.
Feeding butterflies happens in two stages.
First, caterpillars eat the leaves of sunflowers, milkweed, snapdragons and citrus–but don’t worry, they won’t touch your favorite roses! Planting these types of plants will attract butterfly caterpillars and grately increase your butterfly population.
After chrysalis, butterflies become nectar feeders. Use a butterfly feeder to provide nectar. You can even add rotting fruit to it. In addition, plant honeysuckle, Butterfly Bush and Black-eyed Susans around your yard. These are all easy to grow and a butterfly’s best friend.
Backyard butterflies will even enjoy a shallow dish of stale beer, if you have some leftover and don’t want to waste it.
Don’t forget about water
Butterflies are fairly small so they are unlikely to drink from your
bird bath or fountain. Instead, try providing a shallow tray with wet sand for them to drink from. Adding polished rocks for weight will also provide a perfect place for sunning. This is a perfect place for photographing colorful butterflies so make sure to put it in a well lit spot!
Butterflies are one of the easiest and most rewarding creatures to attract to your garden. With a few select plants and a little patience, you’ll have colorful creatures in your backyard each spring!
Find everything you need to start your butterfly garden here: