Creating Your Own Butterfly Garden

Creating Your Own Butterfly Garden

Butterfly gardens are the perfect way to connect with nature. From the first flutters of spring through the end of fall, butterflies need a place to hang out, and there's nothing more peaceful than watching them flit from bloom to bloom.

When planning your butterfly garden, there are a few things you need to consider. Do you want to simply plant a few pretty flowers to attract butterflies looking for nectar? Or do you want to experience the whole life cycle, incorporating shelter and plants that will attract egg layers and feed young caterpillars? Are there certain species of butterflies you would like to attract? Different species are drawn to particular flowers, which it important to keep that in mind when you are picking out which plants you want.

You need to pick a spot for your butterfly garden that gets plenty of sunlight. Choose a mix of plants from the lists below, then arrange them with the tallest plants toward the back and the shortest in front. Choose a pleasing mixture of plants, flowers, vines, and herbs to make the garden visually pleasing as well as a functional butterfly habitat. Remember that caterpillars will actually eat the plants they hatch on, so consider this when deciding where to place those. Include a shrub or two to provide shelter from the elements and predators.

A small damp area covered in sand is the perfect watering hole for butterflies. Consider putting in a couple of small sections for that purpose, perhaps placing them between plants or surrounded by pretty stones.

List of nectar plants

  • Butterfly bush
  • Petunia
  • Aster
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Passion Flowers
  • Salvia
  • Shasta Daisy
  • Yarrow
  • Zinnia
  • Verbena
  • Button Bush
  • Cosmos
  • Lantana
  • Marigold
  • Coneflower
  • Coreopsis
  • Violet

List of Host Plants

  • Sunflowers
  • Hollyhock
  • Milkweed
  • Clover
  • Alfalfa
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Carrot
  • Nettle
  • Monkey flower
  • Viburnum
  • Blue false indigo

Butterfly houses are a fun and functional element for your garden. They are similar to birdhouses, but with vertical slits for the butterflies to enter and exit through. Butterfly houses come in a wide variety of shapes, whimsical styles, and colors and can be found online and in some garden supply stores.

A comfortable hammock placed strategically nearby is the perfect place to lounge on a warm day as you watch butterflies enjoy your garden. Other seating options include a bench across from the garden or even a chair or two incorporated into the design for a close up view of the butterflies and caterpillars.

Enjoy your new garden as you watch beautiful butterflies flutter by.