How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Butterflies are one of my children’s favorite bugs. My daughters’ love chasing them around the yard and catching them briefly in a net. No matter how hard they try or how still they stay, they just can’t get those butterflies to land right on them. That would surely make their day! However, just having butterflies in our yard brings a smile to the children’s faces, and also to anyone else who walks through the yard.

Butterflies are beautiful creatures. They seem to flutter by as if they are floating. The bright and beautiful colors catch anybody’s eye. Finding plants to attract butterflies is not difficult, but there are a few things that you need to know about attracting butterflies, and the best way to go about bringing them into your yard.

When choosing plants for your yard, there are a few things that you need to consider. Butterflies need brightly colored flowers with lots of nectar. The brightly colored, fragrant, and nectar filled flowers are not the only thing that butterflies need. You also need to think about host plants. Host plants are much more difficult to choose. Each species of butterfly prefers to lay their eggs on different plants. It is best to wait and choose host plants after you have already attracted butterflies into your garden. This way you know which species you have and can choose your host plant accordingly.

Host Plants
As I said before, host plants are different according to each species of butterfly. I am going to share some of the more common butterfly host plants with you.

Dill, Parsley, and Fennel are not only host plants for Black Swallowtail butterflies, they are also wonderful herbs that can be used in cooking. Many very tasty recipes call for these herbs, no wonder butterflies enjoy them!

Monarch butterflies are one of the most noticed butterflies. There bright orange and black contrast are sure to attract your attention. Monarchs prefer to us butterfly weed and milkweed as host plants.

Some other host plants are Cassias, Pawpaws, Plumbago, Passion Vines, and Citrus. The above mentioned are more common, but these plants still attract butterflies. It all depends on the area where you live on what types of butterflies you will attract and need host plants for their eggs. Plant the nectar plants first and see what types of butterflies come to your flowers, then you know which host plants you will need.

Nectar Plants
There are many different types of nectar plants that will attract butterflies. Just about any brightly colored flower will do. However, the list of plants below will be sure to be a big attraction for any butterflies that flutter through your neighborhood.

Azaleas or Rhododendrons, Buddleias, Lantanas, Ligustrum, Milkweeds, Pentas, Porterweed, Verbenas, Vibernums, and Vincas are all sure fire plants to bring out the butterflies. After planting these wonderfully gorgeous plants you will be sure to have new visitors to your garden and yard.

Once the plants are out be ready with a butterfly species book so you can identify the butterflies that come your way. This will help you be sure to get the correct host plant for your new found yard friends.


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