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Butterfly Garden Ideas

Danton Forestier   Gardens   May 22nd 2020, 02:43:14

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Everyone loves butterflies but knowing how to keep and attract them to your home is quite easy. There is no minimum size to a Butterfly garden; they can be as small as a container or window planter, or as large as you can design and build. What you want to create is a complete environment that will not only attract butterflies but will also entice them to lay their eggs; so you will want plants that caterpillars would love to eat too. In essence, you will create a complete ecosystem for all stages of their life.

First you will need to do a little research on your local area as to what butterflies are common, then you can begin searching for the best nectar and host plants for your butterfly garden. Monarch butterfly caterpillars like Milkweed, the Common Snout-Nosed wants hackberries and so it is important to know what butterflies live where you live. You also should know that what caterpillars eat is not what a Butterfly gets its nourishment from. Butterflies drink their food thus they need nectar-bearing flowers and plants which hold water on their leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves.

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The following is a partial list of host plants for butterfly egg-laying and caterpillar food:

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Butterfly Garden Plans Gardens Butterfly Garden Ideas

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Monarch Milkweed
Swallowtail parsley, parsnips, carrots, fennel, anise, pipevine, snakeroot
Great Southern White mustard
Zebras, Julia, Gulf Fritillary passionflower leaves
Greater and Lesser Fritillaries violets
Comma nettle and hops
Buckeye plantain and gerardia
Red Admiral nettles
Common Blue dogwood flowers
California Sister live oak
Fawn birch and elder

Nectar bearing plants and flowers include the following varieties:

Lantana (full sun)
Zinnias (partial to full sun)
Sage (full sun)
Sunflower (full sun)
Butterfly bush and weeds (partial to full sun)
Bee balm (partial to full sun)
Lilac (partial to full sun)
Marjoram (partial to full sun)
Hebe (partial to full sun)
Pentas (partial to full sun)
Purple Coneflowers (partial to full sun)

Butterflies require sunlight to regulate their body temperature, but just like us humans too much sun can also be harmful, so any butterfly garden should have both full sunlight and partial shade to offer the best of everything. As with any garden, proper soil or bed preparation is important as is adequate nutrients and water for the plants you select. Also, the placement of the plants in your garden is equally important for their survival. You should not put plants requiring full sun in the shaded areas and vice-versa. With the right planning and proper care, you can create a complete lifecycle environment for your butterflies.

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