A butterfly garden can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make it.
Size or complexity will not bring success or failure. Good planning and
research play heavily in determining the number and species of butterflies
you attract to your garden.
Start with selecting a butterfly field guide specific to your geographic
region. Your geographic region if you lived in North America could be, for
instance, the United States or Canada. Confining your search to within a
specific state or province would be a better choice, increasing your chances
for success. Pay particular attention to species requirements for both
nectar and host plants. Planting you garden with only nectar-rich plants
will definitely attract butterflies. Adding host plants to your plan will
provide you with a peak into the entire lifecycle of butterflies.
Choose plants from the list that you, as well as the butterflies, are
attracted to. If you donít like the flowers you have selected, even though
the butterflies do, chances are you wonít spend much time in your garden.
Plan on cutting some of the flowers. There are plenty to go around, and it
in a good way to ensure continuous flowering over the blooming season.
An ideal location for your butterfly garden is in an area that receives
at least six hours of full sunlight daily. This is generally listed as one
of the requirements for most annuals and perennials that butterflies prefer
as a nectar source. The butterflies also favor sunny locations. Please donít
be discouraged if your garden does not meet this requirement. I have
personally found that success is possible with as little as two hours of
direct sunlight a day.
Consider cultural requirements of the plants you select. Having your soil
tested is a great way to determine if you can meet them. Adequately
preparing you soil and adding the prescribed elements will be well worth the
effort. Native wildflowers, or cultivars of the native species donít require
a lot of special care if you have properly prepared your soil. Seldom
bothered by pests or diseases, they are an excellent choice for your garden.
If you make an effort to attract beautiful butterflies to your garden,
then please donít poison them with pesticides. A weed is merely an unwanted
flower. Try pulling them by hand. What better excuse for spending more time
in the garden. Insect pests seldom pick on healthy plants. Keep yours that
way by picking up plant litter on a regular basis. Water your garden only
when flowers and plants are showing signs of stress. Over watering causes
many plant diseases, and it is not good for the plantís root system. The
rest is out of your control so leave it to the birds and beneficial insects
to rid your garden of unwanted pests.
Consider adding a birdbath or butterfly hibernation box to your butterfly
garden. These are additions that are both useful and pleasing to the eye.
Butterflies need water, especially on hot summer days. A flat rock placed in
the middle of a birdbath gives butterflies a place to drink. Hibernation
boxes provide some shelter from the elements even though very few species of
butterflies actually hibernate. Popular also among butterflies are large,
dark, flat rocks placed about the garden for sunning.
All else is up to the gardenís creator. One last word ďtake time to smell
the flowersĒ. Enjoy your garden and get the camera!
For a list of plants that are easy to grow and care for that you can
include in your butterfly garden
The beautiful butterfly animation is by Dave
at Seven Oaks Art Visit
the site and enjoy free animations!