Hey there city dwellers! Let us ask you something – when was the last time you saw a butterfly fly past your window? A long time ago, right? We know. For most of us living in the city, butterflies are a rare sight. One can even say that butterflies are only memory from our past too. But, you can be the one to change all of this.
If you want to see butterflies in your city, there is a way. Since butterflies love jungles of greenery and flowers and not concrete jungles, all you have to do is grow a butterfly garden. Don’t worry – doing this is easier than it seems. And that will be our topic of the day. So, if you want to know how to attract these beautiful creatures, here are some beginner tips on growing a butterfly balcony garden.
5 Tips For Balcony Butterfly Garden
Tip 1: Choose the Right Location For the Garden
First things first – when it comes to growing butterfly gardens, location is the most important thing. That is, having a balcony that is basked with sunlight for the bigger part of the day is a must. You can have the most beautiful butterfly garden filled with all the flowers that butterflies love, but if it is not in the sunlight, well, no butterfly will come. This is because these little, colorful creatures only feed on flowers that lie in the sunshine.
So, if you live in a house and have the ability to ‘place’ your butterfly balcony garden just anywhere, great. Place it somewhere sunny. When it comes to apartments, you have to have a balcony that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day for this butterfly garden to thrive. If it doesn’t, well, growing a butterfly balcony garden may not be a good idea.
Tip 2: Prepare Your Balcony
Assuming that you have a basked balcony, the first thing you have to do to grow a butterfly garden is clean and declutter the space. Butterflies will not come if you mix your clutter and mess with nectar flowers. Or, even if they do come, they will not stay for long.
Thus, try to remove anything you have on your balcony – that includes your outdoor furniture and all the things that you left there because they can’t fit inside. You need every inch of your balcony if you want to create a butterfly balcony garden. So, either get rid of all these things or place them in storage. If you need help with packing, moving, or heavy-lifting, just seek advice from strongassmovers.com, for example.
Now that you have a clear balcony to work with, clean. It is going to be much easier now than later on when it is filled with dozens and dozens of pots. But, when cleaning, make sure to use natural and gentle products. A mixture of water and white vinegar is always a good idea. If you use something harsh, that is, something with a strong chemical smell, you will push away the butterflies.
Tip 3: Get Plants for Butterflies and Caterpillars
While buying plants is extremely fun, we need to say a word or two about host plants before you start filling and decorating your balcony with every colorful plant you can find. So what are host plants and why are they so important for butterflies and caterpillars?
The plants on which butterflies lay their eggs are known as host plants. They are significant because those plants are practically the first food a newly hatched caterpillar will eat after it has consumed its eggshell.
Now, caterpillars are picky eaters, so each butterfly species has its own host plants. Monarch caterpillars, for example, only eat Milkweed while Sachem feeds on Bermuda Grass.
And, now comes the fun part – filling your balcony garden with plants. Now you know that to attract butterflies, you must fill your balcony with special kinds of flowers, that is, nectar-rich flowers. Those are:
- Mentha longifolia
- Asystasia gangetica
- Plumbago auriculata
These are just some of the plants and flowers that will help you when growing a butterfly garden. There are many more of them and they vary depending on the area you live in. So, do your research! And, when you buy the plants, don’t just put them in pots and let them be. Planting plants in pots require some skills, thus do your research on that too!
Moreover, don’t forget to get some host plants for the caterpillars too! Once your butterflies hatch, the larvae will also need food! And, that food could come from the following plants:
- Sorghum bicolor (Painted Lady Butterfly)
- Clausena anisate (Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly)
- Lantana mearnsii (Patrician Blue Butterfly)
- Barleria (Yellow Eyed Pansy Butterfly)
- Asystasia gangetica (Blue Pansy Butterfly)
- Schotia brachypetala (Striped Policeman Butterfly)
Tip 4: Organize Your Balcony Butterfly Garden Well
Just like planting requires some skill, so does organizing the garden itself. You can’t just place a couple of pots with plants here and there and hope for the best, no. You have to have a plan!
For instance, you should first get some big pots – ones that can ‘home’ a large number of plants so that you can create flower beds. If you don’t know how to get these to your balcony, again, seek moving professionals. These kinds of experts can help with transport and all the heavy-lifting.
Then, get flowers of different heights. Put the tall ones in the back, and continue layering until you reach the end of the balcony where you will place the smallest pots and plants. This will give your butterfly balcony garden the most impact.
Moreover, when choosing flowers, choose ones with bright colors, and choose many of them, The brightness of the flowers is what will attract the buyers. And, the variety of flowers on your balcony garden is what will keep them coming and hatching.
Tip 5: Add Resting Places, Extra Food, and Water
When growing your butterfly balcony garden, besides those perfect flowers for butterflies, you will also need to add some perfect resting places. This can be just anything – a branch, a couple of rocks, decorative trellises, or even a chair will do the trick. But, in order for this ‘trick’ to work, that is, in order for the butterflies to use these resting places, make sure they are also positioned in the sun (somewhere in between your flowers would be the best).
Finally, don’t forget about the food and water. If you add some fruit or some nutritious nectar for butterflies and, of course, some kind of a water source, all the butterflies in the city should flock to your balcony. You can put the food in a butterfly feeder and water in a shallow puddler.
As you have seen, growing a butterfly balcony garden is not hard, you just have to know what you are doing. And, if you read everything from above, you’re off to a great start. Thus, go to your local flower shop, buy some flowers, and wait for the butterflies to come to your balcony. However, be careful and make sure that the local flower shop doesn’t spray pesticides/ chemicals on the plants. After all, butterflies are insects and are vulnerable to insecticides and pesticides that may be used in a garden. Good luck!