How to lure butterflies into your garden?

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Most of us find pleasure in watching the lively and richly colored butterflies in the garden, but only if we provide them great conditions will they show up on a regular basis. So, what do we need to do if we would like to have many of these wonderful creatures near our homes?

Butterfly feeding on a plant

Some plants are better for luring butterflyies than others... (Photo: Anita Diós)

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The good news is, even if you choose to make your yard butterfly-friendly, you can still have a stylish and neat garden with plenty of interesting plants. Actually, the diversity of the flowers is something that not only humans, but butterflies like too.

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But before you start reorganizing your garden, firstly consider whether if you are really committed to maintain a butterfly-friendly garden, or perhaps just interested in trying to lure a little more butterflies. If the latter is true, you might want to invest only in smaller, annual plants or other herbaceous plants rather than shrubs or trees. Depending on where you live, the ideal plants, of course, vary, but in most parts of Europe and North-America, the ones below should be great for luring the butterflies.

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The big-sage (Lantana camara) is a popular ornamental plant with truly eye-catching flowers that form an almost ball-like shape together. While it's clearly a lovely sight, butterflies, of course love it not because its looks, but for its nectar instead. Rudbeckia flowers, coneflowers, marigolds, blanket flowers and daylilies are also popular among the butterflies. Lavender could be another great choice.

Butterfly feeding on a plant

Choosing annual flowers can be a great way to make your garden more butterfly-friendly (Photo: Anita Diós)

The butterfly flower grows splendid flowers, this is why in some regions it's called the poor men's orchid - despite not being an orchid at all. (The plant is more closely related to - for example - the potato, the goji and the deadly nightshade.) Butterflies love to visit the charming flowers of this plant.

You can also choose your shrubs in order to please the butterflies, some are particularly ideal for this purpose. Some of the best species for butterfly gardens are elders and lilacs - which are unfortunately both blossoming only for a short period of time.

Not only the plants chosen can act as a bait for butterflies, but fresh water and a little "natural" spot - where you let grass and small plants grow - are important for them. Keep in mind that caterpillars also have to eat, and if they can feed on the grass, the common weeds, perhaps the leaves of some shrubs, they will less likely to devour your most beloved plants.

Butterfly feeding on a plant

Keep in mind that the caterpillars need food too (Photo: Anita Diós)

Anita Diós

May 2018