Butterfly Garden
Make your own free website on Tripod.com

How to Make A Butterfly Garden

No matter where you live, short of the Artic Circle, it is possible to have a garden that both you and your butterfly guests will enjoy. Regional conditions of climate, geology, and architectural heritage exert varying degrees of influence on just what style of garden you design.
Ample sunshine is the foremost consideration. Butterflies avoid shady areas. Ideally, your garden should have a southern exposure. Butterflies use early morning sunlight for basking on sun-warmed rocks, bricks or gravel paths. As morning temperatures rise, they begin visiting their favorite nectar flowers, but always in sunlit areas of the garden.
They prefer gardens that are sheltered from prevailing winds. If yours is not, consider planting a windscreen of lilac, mock orange, butterfly bush or viburnum - all shrubs whose flowers are rich in nectar.
A butterfly garden's style is not as important as its content. It should offer nectar flowers throughout the growing season. Luckily, many of our most loved annuals and perennials are top-notch nectar sources.
Butterflies seem especially attracted to gardens boasting generous patches of a given nectar flower. If you plant red valerian, don't settle for one or two specimens. Try growing three or four patches of this especially popular nectar flower, and watch the swallowtails drift from clump to clump.
You may want to start from scratch and populate an entire garden solely with nectar plants, however, remember that a given flower that attracts butterflies in one area may not necessarily prove a favorite with differing species of butterflies in an other. Experiment and learn which flowers your local butterflies prefer.

Watch butterflies in nearby areas
to see which flowers they prefer

Grow these plants and ones
recommended on this webpage.

Position plants in a sunny place,
sheltered from wind.

Grow large clumps of the most
favored species.

Try to maintain diversity in height,
color and blooming periods.

Avoid or limit your use of

Provide a mud puddle in
a sunny spot.

Grow larval plants for butterflies
that appear in your garden.

Try some plants in containers for
increased flexibility.

Leave some undisturbed corners
for weedy larval and nectar