If you want to plant a garden that will attract butterflies in great numbers, you have to pick the correct plants and flowers. There are two types of butterfly garden plants that need to be used: nectar producing flowers, and butterfly host plants.
Butterfly garden flowers make the sweet nectar that adult butterflies feed on. Butterfly garden host plants provide a place to lay the eggs and food for the larvae.
By planting both butterfly garden flowers that feed the adult insects, and butterfly garden plants that provide habitat for the larvae, you will attract more types of butterflies to your garden and yard.
Butterfly Garden Plants for Eggs and Larvae
Butterfly garden host plants are where the butterflies prefer to lay their eggs. They are chosen because of what the larvae, or caterpillars, eat after hatching. Obviously, these plants will be chewed up by the larvae, and might do better at the back of the garden or hidden behind another tall plant.
Different butterfly species need different butterfly garden host plants. Some of them include alfalfa, clover, herbs such as dill, fennel, and parsley, plantains, cabbages, sunflowers, milkweed, and nettle.
Some butterflies prefer to lay their eggs on trees. While planting new trees just for your butterfly garden can be impossible, having these varieties around will help attract more of the colorful insects. Some of the most popular trees for butterflies include sycamores, willows, locust trees, aspen, elm, and flowering fruit trees such as cherry and peach.
Butterfly Garden Flowers for Nectar
If your goal is to attract the maximum number of both butterflies and species of butterfly to your garden, you must plant a wide variety of butterfly garden flowers. Butterflies are thought to like pink, red, orange, and yellow flowers the most. They like trumpet-shaped flowers and those with broad petals that provide a good place to land.
Some perennial butterfly garden plants and flowers include: aster, bee balm, black eyed Susan, chives, coreopsis, daisy, hibiscus, lobelia, milkweed, phlox, sedum, and yarrow. Some annual butterfly garden plants and flowers include: cosmos, impatiens, marigold, nasturtium, sunflower, verbena, and zinnia.
Many types of wild flowers are also great butterfly garden plants. These include goldenrod, milkweed, nettles, and thistle.
Planting the two types of butterfly garden plants will ensure that you attract the maximum number of butterflies to your garden. You must provide both nectar producing flowers and butterfly garden host plants for the caterpillars.
Published in: Gardening