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Attracting Butterflies

Posted by Linda Pittman on

  Nothing is more relaxing than watching butterflies make those lazy trips around your yard. You love them as one of the first signs of Spring. There are several things you can do to bring in butterflies. Number one is definitely quit or lessen use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. You will notice a rapid increase in your winged visitors. Organic yard care products will increase your comfort level about the products in your yard, and the children and pets who move around in it. How simple is that?
Another often overlooked idea is the use of host plants. You can watch the change from caterpillar to larval to butterfly. Milkweed is the classic host plant for Monarch butterflies, along with dill, parsley and cabbage. You'll need nectar plants that flower from the start of the season into fall. You get many more butterflies if you use host plants and nectar plants that are native to your area. They also need a place to warm in the sun, like a flat, tan rock in a sunny, wind free place with some salts in the sand. You can place a piece of black plastic under the sand to keep the salt from leaching into the soil. It also helps keep the sand moist for longer.
Having a slice of watermelon or any other overripe fruit is a magnet for butterflies. On the subject of butterfly houses, there is no proof butterflies use them, but many feel that no butterfly garden is complete if it doesn't have a butterfly house.
Butterfly feeders should be placed around flower beds that butterflies will be attracted to. Feeders with wicks barely showing act like a flower bud for butterflies to sip from. Place banana slices on feeder spikes, which attract fruit flies, that both butterflies and hummingbirds feed on for protein. If you combine several tips here, you will soon enjoy watching butterflies in your yard. Click for links to see our butterfly feeder and butterfly houses.

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