by Jackie Ravenscroft
There are 750 different species of butterfly in America, and these beautiful creatures rely on the plants and flowers for their sustenance. The flowers that you plant in your backyard make all the difference, but it is important to remember that butterfly season isn’t just over the summer months.
There are many species that grace us in early spring, including the West Virginia, and the Spring Azure. In the fall will find the Red-Bordered Satyr and the Leonard’s Skipper. Even in winter, Red Admirals and Painted Ladies still fly in the warmer areas like California. Planting seasonal flowers will help the beautiful butterflies survive all year round.
Weather and Climate
Before you start planting, it is important to consider the weather and climate where you live. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has split the country into zones 1-11, dependent on weather, climate, and rainfall. If you live in zone 1 – Alaska, some plants may not survive, particularly in the winter months.
Identifying your planting zone and following USDA guidance on the best flowers and plants to put in your backyard will help them to thrive. If the area where you live is very windy or prone to storms, planting shrubs in pots is a good idea, as you can move them to a more sheltered position depending on the weather.
Butterflies will visit any backyard if there are plenty of nectar-rich plants. If you are getting plenty of regular visitors, your backyard may even become a breeding habitat. Different butterfly species are attracted to different types of flowers, so choose lots of different plants to attract a wide variety of species.
The Buddleia (also known as the butterfly bush) will grow in most soil types and is very low maintenance – it is definitely a butterfly favorite. Lavender is also popular with butterflies and of course smells beautiful. If you have limited soil in your backyard, try planting some Perennial Wallflower seeds in paving cracks and gaps – these flowers will grow even in very poor conditions, and butterflies are attracted to their sweet nectar.
It is important that you plant some late-blooming flowers if you want to attract butterflies to your backyard all year round. This will also help the butterflies that migrate to overwinter in warmer climes. Butterflies in all life stages need that extra nutritional boost.
Aster and Salvia are good choices for your backyard, and they come in a variety of different colors. Lantana, are small tubular flowers that grow in clusters and will last well into early winter. If you have poor soil, plant some Sedum, which will happily live in gravel – there are many species to choose from and they are extremely hardy.
Planting a variety of seasonal flowers in your backyard will attract many different types of butterflies. Looking after these beautiful creatures will ensure that they survive in the future.