What Is a ButterflyGarden? Garden planted to attract butterflies (and moths) Includes plants for shelter, nectar and host Can be part of a complete backyard wildlife habit that includes plants to attract birds and other wildlife
Why Create a ButterflyGarden? Beauty and enjoyment Great gardening activity for children Diminishing natural habitats for butterflies and moths Most plants are low maintenance, drought tolerant, beautiful Attracts pollinators
Butterfly Garden Design &Care Full sun to part shade Garden size Container butterfly garden Small garden Large garden Include screening plants or site near something that keeps wind from butterflies Choose perennial plants that bloom spring through fall for continuous color; include annuals Group plants together by color; masses of the same color or tone tends to attract more butterflies Native plants support local butterfly species Avoid use of pesticides Place garden near the home (or include a bench in the design) so you can enjoy the butterflies!
Water Sources “Mud Puddles” - Water sources are optional, but probably appreciated by butterflies Many butterflies like to drink from salty mud puddles. You can see them on damp rocks, gravel or sand. Create a mud puddle by digging a shallow depression and lining it gravel. Commercial “butterfly puddle” bowls feature a shallow cement bowl with pebbles – just add water. You can also use an old bird bath top if the base breaks. A birdbath is fine, but the birds will use it more than the butterflies.
Plants for the Garden Shelter Butterflies dislike high winds and seek shelter on windy days. Including plants for shelter such as Buddleia (butterfly bush) provides both food and shelter. Nectar Nectar producing plants are typically flowering perennials and annuals Native plants are especially beneficial Host plants Provide food for larvae
Host Plants Each butterfly species seeks a specific host plant Include a variety to benefit more butterflies Common host (larvae) plants include: Parsley (Eastern Black Swallowtail) Violets (Great Spangled Fritillary Dogwoods, virburnum (Spring Azure) Milkweed (also a nectar plant) (Monarch) Nettles (Comma, Red Admiral) Dill, mint
Shelter and Nectar Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) Prolific seeder (deadhead if you don’t want seeds) Easy care, cut back in fall 10-15 feet tall White, lavender, purple, dark purple, bicolor
Examples of OtherButterfly Garden Plants New England Aster Coreopsis major Bee Balm (Monarda Joe Pye Weed didyma) (Eupatorium maculatum) Black-eyed Susan Maximillian’s Sunflowers (Rudbeckia hirta ) (Helianthus maximilianii ) Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Phlox (Phlox subulata) cardinalis ) Purple Coneflower Butterfly weed (Echinacea purpurea ) (Asclepius tuberosa ) Common violet Virginia Bluebell Yarrow Daylilies
A Simple Plan Butterfly Perennials - Butterfly Bush Salvia, daylilies, Bush nepeta Zinnia Zinnia Annual border – sweet alyssum, marigolds, petunias
My Butterfly Garden Started 2008 Sloping ground,, highly acidic soil, clay, full sun to part shade We used a “kit” of plants from a nursery catalog. Came with starter plants and a garden plan. Sort of like paint by numbers gardening. Major plants: •Achillea •Butterfly bush •Cardinal flower •Catmint •Columbine •Lantana •Marigolds •Monarda •Salvia •Zinnias
For More Information Virginia Cooperative Extension – Wildlife Habitats: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426- 070/426-070.html Colorado Extension – Attracting Butterflies to the Garden: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05504 .html Ohio Cooperative Extension – Butterfly Gardens (with extensive plant list): http://ohioline.osu.edu/w-fact/pdf/0012.pdf