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How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

By Edited May 4, 2016 2 3

Do you love the beauty of butterflies flitting by on a beautiful summer day? In my garden, there are lots of very large dark blue butterflies on any given day. Not only are they attracted to the flowers, but I often see them land on the gravel to take a drink of water right after a light rain. There are many ways to get these beauties to visit your garden. You just have to supply them with what they desire.


Butterflies love nectar, overripe fruit, and color. When selecting the plants that will draw them to your garden always choose native plants to your area. In doing this, you are ensuring their survival by preventing them from laying eggs in intruding plants. If these plants are removed from the bed, the eggs will not survive. Flowers that provide nectar are the butterfly bush, asters, bee balm, zinnia, sunflowers, lilac, marigold, and sweet pea. There are more varieties than this, but this will get you started. You can also leave little saucers of overripe mashed up fruit, as well as molasses, fruit juice, and even beer around the garden and they will come. Adult butterflies are attracted to blooms with bright and vibrant colors like red, purple, pink, and yellow. A large quantity of color will have them flying your way in no time. They also prefer single blooms over double blooms when accessing food.


Butterflies love puddles of water. You will often see them right after a rain retrieving a drink of water from a nearby puddle. So try to provide spots in your garden to place a decorative shallow bowl for them to drink from. They will also require lots of sunshine to rest upon. Make sure that your flowers are in full sun, and the butterflies will come.

Butterflies are fragile, and they do not like the wind. Protection from the elements can be accomplished with a few shrubs. If you would like to add a whimsical touch to your garden, then consider purchasing a butterfly house. They come in different sizes and designs, and they will usually run you about $30.00. Most have an opening where you can place leaves and twigs inside for them to rest on. These houses are aesthetically pleasing and provide protection from the wind and from predators such as birds.

Some other things to consider are caterpillars and insecticides. You may have to endure the first and avoid the later. Caterpillars are byproducts of having a butterfly garden. If you provide a few plants that they enjoy dining on like milkweed, hollyhocks, and sage, then you will have created your next generation of butterflies to enjoy. If you use insecticide, then you probable want have to worry about a butterfly garden anymore.



Oct 18, 2010 11:11pm
Good article! I have never heard of a butterfly house, but will look for one. Thanks for sharing.
Oct 19, 2010 9:44am
They are pretty neat. They are long and narrow with little slits in them.
Apr 8, 2011 11:14pm
Very cool. My senior mom loves all types of gardening and this year she is researching ways to create a butterfly garden. I'll have to let her know about the fruit. Thank you :)
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