Part 1 – top seven tips for successfully setting up a butterfly garden
Part 2 – lists of flowers, vegetables, shrubs and vines as recommended plant ings
(links available below)
Now in Part 3, here are a few other tips:
Pesticides: As in any type of garden, there may be “pests.” Remember: Do NOT use pesticides inside the butterfly garden or in nearby areas. Most general pesticides are toxic to butterflies. If the pests do become a problem, check with a local garden center about using insecticidal soap or predatory insects. Be careful with the insects that you do not inadvertently create a more serious problem for your local environment.
Butterflies cannot drink from open water. They prefer damp areas or shallow puddles. You may want to carefully plan out where and how many of these areas you want to include in your garden. Again, you do not want to create another problem such as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Visit your local library for books about butterflies. You may want to learn the cycle of life for your butterflies as well as learning to identify the names and specific color patterns of your favorite butterfly. As the butterflies visit, you will quickly identify those who continue to return most frequently. You should also note which flowers they most often feed from; note which flowers they do not like/use; and decide whether or not you need to remove or add flowers to the mix.
Remember that the butterflies also help to cross pollinate the flowers to continue the cycle of life for your flowers.
Learn which flowers are perrenials versus annuals. Which ones will bloom year after year to reduce the need to continuously buy new plants. However, if your butterfly prefers the annuals, you will have to decide what your budget is to continuously replace those favorite plants.
There are many other flowers that can be suggested. And, if readers submit more tips and suggestions, they will be collected to be shared with you at a future date.
Lastly, be aware that the flowers will also attract birds. Some people do erect a netting area to allow the sunlight in but keep the birds out. Another decision to make.
Good luck and best wishes for many happy hours enjoying your butterfly garden!