Knowledge Nook

The Four Basics of Butterfly Gardens

  1. Soil rich with nutrients and organic materStart at Ground Level
    A successful butterfly garden starts from the ground up - literally.

    Soil that is rich with nutrients and organic matter will help your plants, like this purple coneflower, grow tall and beautiful.
  2. Full Sun PlantsA Place in the Sun
    Plant your garden or container in full sun. Butterflies love the sun - and so do most of the nectar plants the adults feed on.

    Be sure to group plants together to create areas of color for the butterflies to see.
  3. Monarch Caterpillar feeding on MilkweedDouble Your Fun - Include Host Plants Too 
    When we think of butterfly gardens we usually think of nectar plants. Remember to include host plants for the butterfly eggs and larvae.

    Pictured to the right is a Monarch caterpillar enjoying it’s favorite host plant - Milkweed.

    See our list of common host plants. Click on a plant name to see which butterfly it hosts.
  4. Praying MantisJust Say “No”
    Butterflies are insects and are vulnerable to insecticides and pesticides that may be used in a garden.

    Just say ‘no’ to pesticides and let insects like the Praying Mantis shown here, as well as Lady Bugs and Lacewings, help with pest control.



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