Butterflies have enchanted humans for thousands of years. Aside from being beautiful, they often considered to be symbols of hope, beneficial changes, and even spiritual salvation. A great way to bring these lovely creatures closer to your home is with the construction of a garden that includes plants known to attract butterflies. In order to build a successful butterfly garden, you need to consider how to nurture butterflies at every stage of their growth.
From Egg to Chrysalis
Butterflies go through an enormous amount of physical change over the course of their lives. As a result, the types of plants that they need to have on hand varies according to these stages. In many cases, plants with fine leaves are most favored by butterflies looking for a place to lay their eggs. These plants are also commonly used as food resources for the caterpillars once they hatch.
Carrots and parsley are two plants with this type of leave that is so often favored by butterflies. However, if the plants may not be able to serve double-duty because caterpillars will also eat the parsley leaves, you may want to plant some indoors for your cooking needs. Queen Anne lace and milkweed are also highly attractive to butterflies during this stage of their life.
Milkweed is also one of the most favored plants by caterpillars that are building their chrysalises. If you interested in attracting a specific type of butterfly, do some research to find out which specific plants they are most attracted to during this stage. Chances are, if a species of butterfly is known to visit your geographic region, there likely some type of plant in the area that is attractive to them. Your local cooperative extension agent may be able to give you this type of information, or at least help you locate it.
Once a butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, it lives of nectar instead of plant matter. Most butterflies look for brightly colored flowers with many small flowers packed closely together. For example, the Mexican butterfly weed, milkweed, and gayfeather will all attract butterflies. Coneflowers, asters, daisies and Indian blanket flowers also tend to be irresistible to butterflies. You also want to make sure to provide some shelter for butterflies. Typically, cedar butterfly houses will be suitable for this purpose. You can also provide some broad leafed plants that provide refuge during the rain or when there are predators around.
Whether you drawn by the mysterious Monarch Butterflies or simply enjoy the sight of yellow and blue butterflies, there are a number of plants you can use to attract them into your yard. While milkweed and butterfly bushes are two of the most common plants used to attract butterflies, do some research to find out which butterflies are most common to your area. Once you know which butterflies you want to attract, you can begin the process of including plants in your garden that will get their attention and make it easier for them to survive.
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