There are various ways to keep butterflies interested in and returning to your garden. Placing a flat stone in your garden not only provides a spot for butterflies to bask to warm their wings on cool mornings but it can also add variety in texture and color to your garden.
Groups of male butterflies often congregate at puddles of water to drink. Mud-puddling offers them the opportunity to get the salt and amino acids they need. You can create your own puddle by digging a shallow depression in or near your garden. Line it with plastic, fill it with sand or gravel and add water.
Attracting and feeding butterflies can be as simple as placing a piece of overripe fruit like a banana, orange or pear on a dish and either placing it on the ground or hanging it from a tree limb.
Many species enjoy these fruity snacks including Question Marks, Red Admirals, Red-Spotted Purples, Mourning Cloaks, Malachites, Hackberries, Viceroys and Zebra Longwings.
A variety of commercial butterfly feeders are available for purchase in many garden gift shops. You simply fill them with your homemade nectar and wait for your colorful customers to arrive.
The jury is still out on the usefulness of butterfly houses. There is no solid evidence that butterflies actually take up residence in them. If you have any first-hand experience and would like to share it with us, please contact us. We’d like to hear from you.