Turn your garden into an outdoor oasis by creating an environment butterflies won’t be able to resist! Start with these simple steps and remember the old real estate motto: “If you build it, they will come!”
Feed the caterpillars (foliage). Introduce plants that butterfly caterpillars can feed on, specifically milkweed for monarch butterflies.
Photo from Flickr
Feed the butterflies (nectar). Plant flowers that are native to your geographical area, especially those in red, yellow, orange, pink, or purple. Plant your nectar-providing flowers in full sun during the bulk of the day, where butterflies prefer to feed.Try to coordinate your flowering plants so that at least one of them is blooming all the time, so butterflies always have a nectar source.
Photo from Monarch Butterfly Information
This may seem obvious, but avoid insecticides as they can kill desirable insects like butterflies in addition to undesirable pests.
Photo from The Xerces Society
Provide a “puddling area” for congregating butterflies via a shallow pan filled with moist coarse sand.
Photo from HGTV
Butterflies also like nibbling on peelings, cores, or slices of fruit.
Photo from Mother Nature Network
Focus on attracting native species of butterfly rather than purchasing and releasing store-bought exotic species that are more likely to die off quickly in the unfamiliar environment.
Photo from Digital Photography Review
For more specific information about what plants are best for certain species of butterflies and their caterpillar counterparts, click here.