gardening is a great way to provide food for
butterflies, pollinate plants, and enjoy watching them
fly about. The satisfaction that gardeners receive from
observing butterflies and other wildlife in their
gardens is a great reward for their gardening efforts. A
butterfly-friendly garden is attractive not only to
butterflies but also to bees, hummingbirds, and other
destruction of natural habitats has encouraged avid
gardeners to grow native plants that are particularly
attractive to butterflies. To support butterfly
populations, you need to provide plants that are good
sources of the nectar that butterflies sip. The garden
also needs adequate sunlight, shelter, and mud puddles,
which butterflies often visit.
selection is the most important part of any garden.
Butterflies see a broad range of colors including shades
of red, yellow, orange, pink, purple, and lavender. They
also see ultraviolet light and use flower petal patterns
as guides to the nectar source. They prefer clusters of
tubular shaped flowers or larger flat flowers that can
support their weight while feeding on nectar.
Plants such as Aster, Echinacea (Purple Coneflower),
Milkweed, Joe-Pye Weed, New York Ironweed, Goldenrod,
Dogbane, and Agastache are all great native butterfly
plants. Using native plants is important because
cultivars are bred for attractive features, but lack the
nectar desired by butterflies.