Turning your yard into a haven for butterflies can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here’s how to get started right when building a butterfly garden.
Things to consider for your butterfly garden
Butterflies need lots of sunlight. Butterflies are cold-blooded, which means they require heat to be at their most active. Most plants that butterflies are particularly attracted to are full-sun plants and that is no surprise! Make sure you’re planning plenty of sunny areas where you want butterflies to congregate.
Windy areas are a problem. One of the things we love about these intricate little creatures is their large wings compared to the rest of their bodies. This means they are vulnerable to wind gusts and are more likely to spend time lingering where they are protected by a fence or stone, for instance. Think about this when building your garden. A wind barrier will also provide a pretty backdrop for viewing.
Consider water sources. Butterflies cannot drink from standing water like birds do. This means, a bird bath will not do them any good. Instead, they need a surface to “lick” water from, like damp sand or a dish of moistened table salt.
Consider nectar sources. It’s no secret that butterflies will linger in an area where food is plentiful. By using a combination of butterfly-friendly plants and a few butterfly feeders, you’ll make sure your yard is a haven for these colorful creatures.
Think about viewing spots. You probably wanted a butterfly garden for viewing right? So don’t forget to give yourself a perfect spot to sit and enjoy. Place a decorative bench or a small gazebo in the area, just make sure the afternoon sun doesn’t cast a shadow on your butterfly playground.
Be careful with pesticides. Remember, butterflies are insects. If you’re using pesticides to keep unwanted insects away, you’re likely to affect the butterflies too. Instead, try to create a garden with a variety of plants that will help many different creatures thrive. The more variety you have, the less likely it is that one plant will be ruined by a hungry bug.
Consider a butterfly house. Butterfly houses are not as common as birdhouses, but are a visually appealing little piece of backyard charm that can provide shelter for your winged friends and help keep them in your yard for longer periods of time. One or two, at the edges of your butterfly garden will help protect them from predators and add ambiance to your yard.
With just a little planning, you can have a yard full of gorgeous, colorful butterflies almost anywhere. Take time to think carefully about each of these factors before you building a butterfly garden and you’ll be able to enjoy the space again and again!