When going for a morning walk, there are many beautiful
butterflies in the air and sunning on plants or flowers.
Of course, the expectation is that these beautiful
creatures will be in your yard, too. Arriving home
to a butterfly-free yard can be really disappointing.
What can you do to make your backyard a haven for
First - Without a doubt, you have to stop using
chemical pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides. These
are deadly considering that butterflies begin their
life as a caterpillar attached to a plant within a
Second - once you've eliminated this threat,
the next important step is to provide 'host plants'
to support the metamorphosis process. There are specific
plants that will attract specific butterflies.
The Black Swallowtail prefers carrots, dill, fennel
and parsley where the Great Spangled Fritillary loves
violets. The beautiful Monarchs are attracted to milkweed,
but the Pearly Crescentspot goes for asters. To attract
Pipevine Swallowtails try planting pipevine, of course.
Several varieties are Calico Pipe, Dutchman's Pipe,
Rooster Flower and Virginia Snakeroot.
Red-Spotted Purple butterflies are attracted to wild
cherry and willow trees. The Spicebush Swallowtail
prefers sassafras and spicebush. For the beautiful
Viceroy plant cherry, plum, poplar and willow trees.
Third - Once the metamorphosis of a caterpillar
into an adult butterfly is completed, they will begin
to seek nectar sources. Incorporate into your garden
nectar plants that bloom from the start of the season
to late summer and fall. Select native nectar plants
such as wild columbine; lance leaf coreoposis; rose
verbena; swamp and whorled milkweed; New England aster;
button bush; butterfly weed; orange, purple Missouri
and sweet coneflowers; blue lobelia; cardinal flower;
prairie blazing star and Joe Pye weed.
Butterflies will also be attracted to slices of banana,
which attract fruit flies. They consume the fruit
flies for protein and minerals. Put out a slice of
watermelon or overly ripe fruit, and you'll be amazed
at all the butterflies that stop by for a light lunch.
There are also a variety of butterfly feeders that
hold prepared nectar or fruit.
Fourth - Remember to provide butterflies a
place to warm in the sun. One idea is to build a waterless
pond. Arrange heat-absorbing rocks on their side in
a sunny area. Add sand and salts and keep the rocks
moist. Be sure to line the area with plastic to keep
salts from leaking into the soil.
Many people enjoy having an attractive butterfly house
in their garden. While there is no proof that butterflies
use these, it does add a colorful accent.
These colorful houses also make wonderful decorative
additions to a porch or sunroom.
The six most common butterfly families you can
Swallowtails (Papilionidae) - The most noticeable
thing about swallowtails is a club-like projection
extending from the hind wing. The most common swallowtails
include: Easter Tiger, Giant, Spicebush, Eastern Black
Milkweed Butterfly (Daneidae) - These medium
to large size butterflies are all power flyers, and
all eat various types of milkweed. The most common
is the Monarch. The Monarch imitators include: Viceroy,
Fritillaries, Mourning Cloaks and Admirals.
Gossamer Wings (Lycaenidae) - Over 100 species
of these small butterflies reside in North America.
They include the Blues, Coppers and Hairstreaks. The
gossamers hold their wings closed over their backs
when at rest.
Sulphurs (Pieridae) - The Sulphurs are hard
to miss because of their brilliant yellows.
Whites (Pieridae) - Whites are often the first
butterflies to be noticed in the spring. Many people
assume they are moths due to their lack of color.
Male "Whites" and "Sulphurs" are prone to "puddling",
which is gathering in groups near moisture and/or
True Skippers (Hesperiidae) - They are small
butterflies that are not particularly attractive,
and contain antennae with a telltale fishhook-like
curve to the end section. Their flight resembles a
stone skipping across the surface of a lake.
Use the tips provided to attract these most beautiful
of nature's creatures so they will become permanent
visitors to your garden.
There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in a chair
or swing on your patio, deck or porch and watching
butterflies make a graceful trip around your yard.
Even in today's hectic times, all seems right with
the world as a butterfly pauses to sip some nectar
or relax on a warm rock.
About the Author
A constant observer, writer and participant in the
Tattoo world Sara Blackstone has enjoyed creating
pages and providing high quality content and information
on tattoo designs. Check this page dedicated to Butterfly