March 21, 2009

Butterfly Gardening

Butterfly gardening has become one of the most popular hobbies today. What could bring more joy than a beautiful butterfly fluttering around your garden?! Here are some tips to make your garden
especially butterfly-friendly.

Your first step should be to find out which butterflies are in your area. You can do this by spending some time outdoors with your field guide to see which species are around. You can also check our checklists here.

Plant
your butterfly garden in a sunny location (5-6 hours each day), but sheltered from the winds. Butterflies need the sun to warm themselves, but they won't want to feed in an area where they are constantly fighting the wind to stay on the plants. It is also a good idea to place a few flat stones in your sunny location so the butterflies can take a break while warming up.

Butterflies need water just like we do. Keep a mud puddle damp in a sunny location, or fill a bucket with sand and enough water to make the sand moist.

Butterflies use two different types of plants - those that provide nectar for the adults to eat (nectar plant), and those that provide food for their offspring (host plant). It is best to find out which plant species are native to your area and plant those rather than exotic species.

Below are list of the more common butterflies with their host and nectar plants.








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