Bring on the Butterflies
Few things are as enchanting as watching butterflies delight in the blooms of a flowering plant or shrub. Their colorful wings quietly and quickly move throughout the flowers adding an entirely new element of nature to the garden.
Who wouldn’t want more butterflies in their garden? So, let’s look at just what will bring these winged beauties to your garden.
Butterflies come to garden in search of two things: nectar (food for adult butterflies) and host plants where the female can lay her eggs and that provide food for caterpillars.
How do we provide it? With nectar plants whose flowers produce that sweet liquid the butterflies love. For the butterflies to adequately get the nectar it’s best to have plants with large clusters of short tubular flowers or flowers with large flat petals – think of it like a landing strip.
Most native butterflies in our area prefer plants with pink, red, purple, yellow or orange flowers. But don’t buy one of each. Butterflies gravitate toward gardens that have a mass of one color or of similar colors.
Think about adding plants to your garden that will provide blooms for a long season. Butterflies are active from early spring through frost so a mix of plants will give them flowers – and thus food – for many months.
Lastly, remember butterflies love sun so consider planting your butterfly garden in a spot that will get at least six hours of full sun each day.
– Purple coneflower
– Siskiyou pink wand flower
– Beach sunflower
– Cat’s whiskers
– Ruby red star flower
– Indigon spires sage
– Mexican sunflower
– Narrowleaf Zinnia