Butterflies have increased in popularity over the last couple of years. They are so popular right now that they are even seen in some elements of fashion right now. There is nothing better than seeing these beautiful creatures flutter through your yard. When you see them you instantly become cheerful.
Sadly, many butterfly populations are in decline so there is a way that you can bring some joy to your yard and help to increase the butterfly population by starting your own butterfly garden at home. Any home garden, even a small container garden, can attract butterflies in the area.
Easy steps to creating a butterfly garden at your home
Use a variety of plants
Butterflies search for nectar from many different flowering plants. They enjoy plants in large blocks of color they are easier to find. It is like waving a giant road sign over an exit telling them where to go. An easy way to bring bright flowers in a variety that butterflies love is to work with a local nursery in your area.
You want to start out by selecting flowering plants that are native to the area where you live and include several different species of flowering plants in the same area. Try to incorporate a combination of annual and perennial flowering plants. You also want to make sure you are choosing flowers of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Try to plant in blocks of the same color with a patch of at least 3 ½’ x 3 ½’ for every single plant and color.
Find a spot with plenty of sunshine
This is not hard to do in Arizona. Butterflies are cold-blooded and they love to hang out in the sun and they need plenty of it to get them going in the morning. Some great flowering plants that love plenty of sunshine include Brandegee Sage which is full of nectar and a butterfly magnet. In addition to some sun-loving flowers, you can also include some rocks to help radiate heat and provide a nice warm place for butterflies to perch.
Bring in a water element
Butterflies need water and just a small patch of wet ground can help them out with what they need. A shallow container of water even simply a garbage lid flipped over on the ground can add plenty of water for butterflies. Make sure to empty and refresh this water often so you do not get any unwanted guests like mosquitoes.
Alternatively, you could install a water feature that gently splashes on the warm rocks in the area and in the soil. This helps to build all of the nutrients essential for butterflies to thrive.
Wait until late spring to clean up plants
Butterflies like to lay their eggs near host plants. They take up residence in overwintering sites nearby dry protected spots between rocks and in leaf litter. Wait to clean up plants that have gone dormant and seem like they are dead until late spring after caterpillars have woken up and gotten a chance to get some nutrients from these areas.
Be careful with chemicals
Butterflies are technically insects and as such is sensitive to chemical toxins. In your butterfly garden, you want to hold back on the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other types of ‘cide chemicals.
In your butterfly garden area, this will bring some bugs that are not welcome but plants can tolerate up to 10% damage from insects, and helping good bugs like butterflies will help to destroy the bad bugs.
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