Gardening

How to make a butterfly garden

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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butterfly on flower
Creating a butterfly garden is a fun way to spend time with the family outdoors this summer
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Making a butterfly garden to encourage beauties of different varieties to visit your home is a relatively simple task and one that everyone in the family will enjoy. Butterflies are quickly losing their habitat due to the continuous construction of roads and houses, so providing them with a place to live and breed is a great environmentally friendly idea. The following tips will help you make a garden that butterflies of all sorts will love to visit.

Before You Do Anything, Do Some Reading

The first step when considering how to make a butterfly garden is research. Finding out what kind of butterflies are native to your area and planting the types of plants that they prefer will make sure that your garden gets plenty of fluttering activity. Butterflies are most active in mid to late summer so make sure to plant your garden during this time. Note that different species like different nectars, both in color and in taste so plant numerous types of flowers and shrubs to encourage them all. The more varieties of plants you include in your garden, the more species of butterflies you'll have. Many plants that attract butterflies include Asters, Blackeyed Susans, Marigolds, Purple Coneflower and numerous others. It will be easy to fill your garden with butterfly favorites. Flowers with multiple florets that produce nectar are ideal and annuals are a good choice as they bloom throughout the season providing a continuous supply of food. Once you know which butterflies are indigenous to your area, go to the local garden center and load up on the plants sure to attract them.

Decide Where You Would Like The Garden To Be

Plant the garden in an area that is open and sunny and be sure to include flat stones for butterflies to bask upon. Basking raises butterflies body temperatures so they are able to fly and remain active and is an important aspect of their overall health. In addition, they need shaded areas to cool off and to hide in so make sure to include a row of hedges or some overhanging flowers to provide these.

Tips To Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

To best attract butterflies, plant your garden using groups of colorful flowers as butterflies are very nearsighted and larger groups of flowers will be easier for them to see than singles. Place taller flowers at the back of the garden and smaller, shorter plants at the front. Not only does this look better aesthetically, it will keep both high feeding and low feeding butterflies happy.

Knowing how to make a butterfly garden includes making sure to include plants that provide both nectar for adult butterflies and larvae food. Snapdragons and nettles are good examples of larvae food and leafy plants and trees will provide food for caterpillar forms. In addition, attract butterflies by including places for females to lay eggs. Small sheltered areas with protection from the wind will be preferred.

Consider supplementing with a homemade feeder. Simply take a small jar and drill a hole in the lid. Plug the lid with cotton and fill the jar with a solution of one part sugar to nine parts water. Attach brightly colored fabric to the feeder to make it more attractive to the butterflies and hang it, inverted, in a tree near the garden.

Butterflies cannot drink from running water so a good idea when considering how to make a butterfly garden is to include a drinking source. Butterflies love puddles. To make a permanent one, bury a bucket to the rim and fill it with your choice of sand or gravel. Then fill the top with liquids like water, stale beer or sweet drinks and place small stones or sticks in the area to give butterflies a place to perch. To further encourage butterflies to visit your garden, place small pieces of overripe fruit that has been allowed to sit for a few days by the puddle. They won't be able to resist these sweet treats making your garden the favorite in the neighborhood.

Knowing how to make a butterfly garden will ensure that your flowers are visited by many butterflies providing enjoyment and delight to all.

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