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Archive for the ‘Butterflies’ Category

Butterflies not only add beauty to our garden but they also provide services of pollinating flowers. During their entire life cycle, butterflies need a variety of plants. To fulfill their needs, you are required to provide them with right plants. Here in this article, I am providing you a list of some perennials which you can grow in your garden. These perennials will surely make butterflies flock to your garden.

Bee Balm

As its name suggests, bee balm attracts bees but at the same time, this perennial attract butterflies. These plants produce pink, purple or red flowers which are arranged in whirling clusters. Being hummingbird magnets, these perennials do best when they are provided with moist soil.

Black-eyed Susan

Blooming from summer to cold, black-eyed susan is a popular perennial as well as an exceptional resource of nectar for butterflies. Butterflies including swallowtails and monarchs are especially attracted towards these perennials.

Garden Phlox

This perennial produces flowers in clusters which grow atop of dark green leaves on vertical stems. They are very attractive and fragrant and need full sun to thrive. Garden Phlox provides nectar to butterflies in summer and fall. Grow these plants and you will see different kinds of butterflies in your garden.

Blanket Flower

Blanket Flower is drought tolerant as well as handles poor soil conditions. It produces yellow and red bi-color flowers from May to frost. You can easily grow these flowers as they require low maintenance. They attract swallowtails, whites and sulphurs.

Butterfly Weed

This perennial produces bright orange flowers which especially attract monarch butterflies. Reason is that these perennials not only produce nectar but also act as host plants for caterpillars. These flowers attract swallowtails, spring azures, giant swallowtails and of course monarchs.

Blazing Star

Blazing Star can prove to be an interesting addition to a perennial garden as it attracts butterflies with its jazzy purple spike of flowers. These perennials attract buckeyes butterflies.

Coneflowers

These perennials produce flowers in different colors including white, orange, yellow, oink and purple. These flowers have a brown center and are produced abundantly on sturdy stems. Butterflies love these drought tolerant perennials. They require partial shade or full sun to thrive.

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush produces flowers clusters which act as butterfly magnets. They prove to be excellent perennials when grown around patios and decks. These drought tolerant flowers require full sun to grow. Flowers grow in different colors like yellow, white, pink, blue and purple.

That is a list of some perennials which are popularly known for attracting butterflies. Grow these in your garden and enjoy watching different kinds of butterflies.

Do you want to see monarch butterflies in your garden? If yes then you will have to grow those flowering plants in your garden which attract monarch butterflies. Do not you know about those flowering plants? Don’t worry. In this post, I am going to provide you with the names of those flowers which you can grow to attract monarch butterflies. These flowers include Purple Coneflowers, English Lavender and of course, Milkweed.

Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower is a perennial plant which can grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet. As its name suggests, this flowering plant produces flowers of pink and purple color in months of June, July and August. You can plant purple coneflowers in either sunny or partial shaded area. These flowers require moist and fertile soil to grow. Although these are drought tolerant, they still required to be watered during hot summer months.

English Lavender

English Lavender is a flowering shrub and an evergreen perennial. It naturally grows on dry and rocky grassy hills and if you want to grow them in your garden, you will require a sunny location for this purpose. It can be grown easily as it can tolerate different types of soils and humidity levels. Growing up to 2 to 4 feet tall, this plant produces pink, purple or blue flowers throughout summer season.

Milkweed

These plants are necessary to grow in your garden if you want to attract monarch butterflies. The reason is quite obvious. Monarch butterflies lay eggs on milkweed and at the same time, these plants are a major source of nectar. Milkweed can be grown in all types of soils such as dry, moist or wet. It requires sunny or partially shaded area to grow well. It can also tolerate dry weather conditions but still it requires to be watered during hot months. There are different varieties of milkweed plant which you can grow in your garden such as:

Scarlet Milkweed: Scarlet milkweed produces red or orange flowers and can grow up to 3 to 4 feet high.

Common Milkweed: Common milkweed is a beautiful plant as it produces flowers in burgundy color. These plants can be naturally found in fields, along roadsides, waste grounds and woods.

Swamp Milkweed: They grow almost in the same areas in which common milkweed grows and they produce flowers in white or pink color.

 Butterfly Weed: Being shorter than other types of milkweed, it can reach to a height of just 18 to 24 inches. They produce yellow or white blooms and are found in those areas in which we find common milkweed.

Butterflies make a garden look vibrant and alive with their colors and elegance. Monarch butterflies are one of the butterflies gardeners want to see in their garden. How to attract them to your garden? Follow these simple tips and attract monarch butterflies to your garden and enjoy their grace:

  • Most of the adult monarch butterflies like nectar present in flowers so you can plant those flowers in garden. These flowers include lantana, daisies, coneflowers, daylilies and sedum. All these are perennials which bloom after year and year. If you have an herb garden, fill it with mints, verbena and bee-balm.
  • Female butterflies always fly here and there in search of plants where they can lay eggs. You can also grow those plants on which monarch butterflies lay their eggs. Monarch butterflies like to lay their eggs on milkweed. Milkweed has different species and you do not need many efforts to grow these plants. Some types of milkweed which you can grow include Showy Milkweed, Smooth Milkweed, White Milkweed, Tropical Milkweed, Green Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed and Sand Milkweed. After young caterpillars come out of eggs, you may don’t like them to be in your main garden. The solution to this problem is simple. You may plant milkweed away from main garden area that is near to nectar plants.
  • Male monarch butterflies also like to be gathered around damp sand and mud ponds. If you want to attract monarch butterflies to your garden, you should consider about making such a spot for them. For this, dig a spot and fill it with thin layer of sand and then cover it with dirt. Don’t forget to keep the sand and dirt moist throughout summer season. Again to save beauty of your main garden, make this puddle in your yard away from major garden area.
  • Monarch butterflies also need a shelter area to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions like strong winds. Make sure you have a shelter area in your garden. You can also buy attractive butterfly houses but they are just only for decoration because butterflies actually don’t like to stay in these butterfly houses.

Throughout summer season, monarch butterflies undergo four cycles so make sure that you are providing them with above mentioned requirements during all summer and especially in late summer.

Flowers are a source of adding beauty and color to your garden. This beauty and color can be increased in another way. What is that? Yes, you can add another decorative and lively element in your garden and that is butterflies. If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, you must know that what types of flowers attract butterflies. For your help and information, I would like to suggest you some flowers that will attract butterflies to your garden.

Aster

In Greek language, aster means a star and this name has been given to this plant because its flowers have a shape like that of a star. Being a member of Compositae family, these flowers are commonly found in North America having more than 175 species. These flowers also grow in South America, Europe and Asia. Blooms of aster have yellow color in the center and have a diameter of about half inch to two inches. They have attractive colors like purple, pink, yellow and white. These flowers are perennial and require full sunshine and drained soil for their proper and healthy growth and the kinds of butterflies which they attract include American painted lady, question mark, American snout and sleepy orange butterfly.

Butterfly Bush

These spiky flowers grow on six feet tall woody-stemmed bushes and can be grown from three to ten inches long. Having more than 100 species, these flowers are very fragrant and contain considerable quantity of nectar. They come in beautiful colors like red, purple, blue and pink and the butterflies which they attract include monarch, giant swallowtail, coma and mourning cloak.

Zinnias

These annual flowers grow on long and green stalk and belong to Asteraceae family. These flowers are round-shaped and are popularly known for their attractive colors like yellow, pink, orange and red. Zinnias are native to American Southwest and Mexico but at the same time they are grown in warm climates as well. Butterflies which are attracted by zinnias include silvery checkerspot, painted lady, cloudless sulphur and little glassywing.

These were some types of flowers that attract butterflies towards them so if you want to attract butterflies to your garden, you are required to plant these flowers in your garden.

Blue butterflies are one of the most attractive and charming butterflies. The reason is their unique color because most of the people think that butterflies have some common colors like brown, white etc. Blue color in butterflies is considered to be very unique and rare and most of us are ignorant that there is a special species of butterflies that are blue in color. Surprisingly, blue butterflies are in abundance in the world except from some of the endangered species. Here in this article I am going to describe some types of blue butterflies for your further information and knowledge.

The first type of blue butterflies is Mission Blue butterflies which are found in California. Male and female butterflies have different colors and patterns. Female butterflies are of brown color having small spots of blue color on the internal portion of wings while the males are totally blue in color and have black trim on the top of wings. On the inner side of the wings, male butterflies have white and black spots. Both male and female butterflies look very attractive and beautiful flying in the garden.

Eastern Tailed Blue butterflies are found in the eastern areas of United States. Arizona, California and Washington are some places where they are seen too. Eastern tailed blue butterflies like to eat asters, wild strawberries and clover plants.

Karner Blue butterflies are among one of the species of blue butterfly that are in danger of extinction because they are facing lack of food and loss of habitat. These butterflies look very beautiful in their blue color. Male and female butterflies differ in color. Male butterflies have silvery blue color having dark black color on the edges of the wings. The color of females is a mixture of gray and brown. But at the top of the wings, there is orange and blue color that makes the butterflies look attractive.

There is another type of blue butterflies that are found in the United States along with the coast of Pacific. These butterflies are named Pacific Dotted Blue butterflies. You can see these butterflies flying in the deserts, mountains, coastline, rock-strewn slopes and hills.  The male butterflies have beautiful lilac blue color of their wings while females are brown. On the inner side of wings both males and females have off-white color.

Fender’s Blue butterflies are featured with silvery blue color and they can be seen in Oregon. Their major source of food is a wild flower named Kincaid’s Lupine. It is also endangered specie and the reason behind this is loss of main food and locale.

These were some common types of blue butterflies. Some of its species are safe while others are in a great danger. Extensive efforts on a large scale are required to save the endangered species so that they can continue to attract us with their magnificent beauty and unique color.

 

Butterflies not only add beauty to your garden but also serve many other purposes in local ecosystem. Adult butterflies help in pollination, while both adults and caterpillars are the main food sources for birds and other animals.

Butterflies, like all wildlife, want to live in the place where there is enough food, water, and shelter. However, they need two types of food, one for the caterpillars (larval stage) and the other for the adult butterflies.

To attract butterflies, your garden will need the following:

  • Nectar plants for butterflies. Plants that provide food for butterflies are called nectar plants. If you want to attract butterflies to your garden then grow plants that bear nectar-producing flowers because nectar is the major source of butterfly’s food.

When selecting nectar plants for your garden, it is important to select different kinds of flowering plants with blooming time spaced out across summer, spring, and early autumn.

Some of the well-known nectar plants include:
Asters, Milkweeds, Azalea, black-eyed Susan, Phlox, Coneflowers, Oregano, Clover, Sunflowers, Mint, Marigolds, Zinnias, Bush Cinquefolia, Butterfly bush, Privet, Lilac, and Redbud Sweet pea, Lilac, Cosmos, Thistles, and various fruit trees.

  • Host plants for caterpillars. Plants that provide food for caterpillars are called host plants. Growing hose plants in your garden provides butterflies a place to lay their eggs. Therefore, if you want to attract unusual and uncommon butterflies in your garden then grow plants that caterpillars love to eat.

Some of the most common host plants include:
Milkweeds, Hollyhocks, Fennel, Parsley, Dill, Wild Senna, Passion Vine, Pipe Vine, Carrot, Wild Lilacs, Buckthorns, Hop-tree, Passion Vine, Wild Plums and Cherries, Sage, Citrus, Ashes, Poplar, and Wild Lime.

  • Enough sunlight. Butterflies love sunlight. You need to ensure that all the butterfly-attracting plants receive direct sunlight for much of the day, so that butterflies do not leave your garden in search of plants that are exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Shallow watering container. Butterflies need water frequently especially in hot days. There are number of choices to provide water to the butterflies. Some of them are as follows:

1.Fill a terracotta pot or small plastic container with pebbles and add water in it.
2.Add marbles in an old Frisbee and fill it with water.
3.Place an old cup into the ground near the plants and keep it filled with water.
4.Use an old pizza or jelly roll pan to provide water to butterflies.
5.Fill a shallow ceramic bowl, an old baking dish, or a large plate with sand and sink it into the ground. Ensure that the sand in it always stays moist.

  • Shelter from bad weather conditions. Butterflies need shelter during heavy rainstorms, strong winds, and other bad weathers. They usually look for shelter in trees, shrubs, and other densely planted places. You need to provide both sunny open areas and dense shadier ones for the butterflies to encourage them to stay in your garden.
  • Insecticides free environment. If you want to attract butterflies, never use insecticides and pesticides in your garden. These chemicals not only harm the insects, but also keep the butterflies at bay.

By following the above mentioned points, you will be able to turn your ordinary garden into a butterfly garden where you can not only enjoy the beautiful flowers but also the colorful butterflies.