Enhance Your Landscaping With A Butterfly Garden | SmartGuy

Enhance Your Landscaping With A Butterfly Garden

Const - Landscape Architect

Butterfly gardens are a wonderfully fascinating way to spruce up your landscaping.  With their natural habitats making way to development and construction, butterflies are being drawn to these beautiful havens.  Growing a thriving butterfly garden means learning which types of plants attract these gorgeous insects.  You will be looking for the types of plants in your region that caterpillars and butterflies enjoy most.  Plants that bloom in the late summer are best, as that is the time that butterflies are in there greatest abundance.

These gardens come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be planted in a window box, in a dedicated area of your landscape, or in a wild and largely untended area of your yard.  Knowing which plants will attract butterflies to your garden requires a little bit of research.  Every area of the country has specific species which are native to that area, and each species has specific plants to which they are most attracted.  Learning which plants in your geographical region are utmost attractive to butterflies in your region will get you off to a great start.   

You are not just looking for plants that the adults like to dine on.  You also need the plants on which caterpillars thrive, because those are the plants that will attract the adults to come lay their eggs.  And, the caterpillars that mature in your garden will be able to return as adults to lay their own eggs, creating a much more active and attractive environment. 

The plants you will need to grow in your backyard garden will be different according to where you live.  There are sources of information on the internet that allow you to research exactly which kind of butterflies are native to your county, and links to the information about those specific insects will reveal which plants they are attracted to the most.  One of the most common plants to use is the Common Milkweed.  The flowers of these plants are attractive to virtually all adults as a source of nectar.  Marigolds are also virtually universally enjoyed by adults.  The beautifully purple and aptly names Butterfly Bush is also an attractive food source, and it exudes a wonderful scent in the summer. 

The plants that are the preferred food source for caterpillars vary greatly according to species.  Remember that these plants are going to be eaten, so they might need to be occasionally replaced if and when they are destroyed.  If you feel that the sight of the eaten plants will be unattractive, then you can place these plants in the middle or back of your garden.  Some caterpillars prefer trees like willows, aspens, and oaks.  Others prefer more ordinary fair like alfalfa, cabbage, and broccoli.  Wild licorice is also a popular choice.  Do not forget that butterflies are insects.  As such, applying pesticides to your backyard garden is definitely counter-productive.

Another interesting addition to your garden is feeders and houses.  Butterfly feeders are much like hummingbird feeders which you keep full of nectar to feed the adults.  Butterfly houses have slots in them that are big enough for the adults to enter but keep out predators like birds and bats.  They provide shelter from the elements and offer protection in the evenings.

Adding a butterfly garden to your landscaping plan is a beautiful and welcome addition.  It is also good for the environment, as many species are now threatened due the diminishing of their natural habitats.  They also provide a restful oasis after a stressful day.  A well-placed bench for sitting and enjoying the habitat you have created will provide you and your guests with hours of enjoyment of your creative landscaping for Butterflies.