Butterfly Gardens

A Prairie Garden Journal 2005

One of the fonder memories most of us bring out of our childhood is that of trying to catch a butterfly. These colorful and intriguing insects have captivated children and gardeners alike for centuries. The interest and beauty of plants is certainly worth the effort of gardening, but with just a little more planning, your garden can also have the added interest of garden wildlife—none of which holds more fascination with the gardener than the butterfly.

Many butterflies can be found in Wyobraska gardens at various times throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Most butterflies visit our gardens as part of a migratory pattern that varies with each species, but several species are “native” to the region. You can definitely attract butterflies to your garden with a few design considerations and proper plant selection. Here are a few tips on how to attract these colorful and elusive creatures to your garden.

How to Create A Butterfly Garden

Locate the garden in a sunny area that is protected from wind.
Butterflies and most butterfly-attracting plants require bright sunshine.

Include host plants for larvae in the garden design.
Host plants provide food for caterpillars and lure female butterflies into the garden to lay eggs

Plant nectar-producing flowers.
Butterflies visit flowers in search of nectar, a sugary liquid, to eat. Many native butterflies seem to prefer purple, yellow, orange, and red colored flowers. Clusters of short, tubular flowers or flat-topped blooms provide the ideal shape for butterflies to easily land and feed.

Use large groupings of flowers in your garden design.
Butterflies are first attracted to flowers by their color. Groups of flowers are easier for butterflies to locate than isolated plants.

Plan for continuous bloom throughout the growing season.
Butterflies are active from early Spring through late Fall. Plant a selection of flowers that will provide nectar throughout the entire growing season. (See list)

Include damp areas or shallow puddles in the garden.
Certain kinds of butterflies (mostly males) often are seen on moist sand or mud at the edge of puddles of water near where they feed. The function of these “mud-puddle clubs” is not fully understood, but it is thought that the water contains dissolved minerals needed by the insects.

Place flat stones in the garden.
Butterflies often perch on stones, bare soil, or vegetation, spread their wings, and bask in the sun. This raises their body temperature so they are able to fly and remain active.

Do not use pesticides in or near your butterfly garden.
Most traditional garden pesticides are toxic to butterflies. Most garden insecticides can kill the caterpillar stages of the insects. Adult butterflies can also be killed be resting on insecticide-treated plants.

Butterflies Common to Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming

Host Plants for Laying Eggs and Caterpillar Food

Sunflowers
Milkweed
Hollyhock
Green ash (tree)
Cottonwood (tree)
Chokecherry (shrub)
Globe thistle
Mallow
Dill
Parsley
Fennel

Nectar Plants to Attract Adult Butterflies

Butterfly Bush (Buddlei)
Butterfly milkweed
Monarda
Asters
Geranium
Cosmos
Zinnia
Marigold
Rabbitbrush
Lilac
Snowberry

Butterflies common to western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming

Black swallowtail
Checkered skipper
Checkered white
Clouded sulfur
Edwards fritillary
European cabbage butterfly
Gorgone checkerspot
Gray hairstreak
Hackberry butterfly
Melissa blue
Monarch
Mourning cloak
Orange sulfur
Painted Lady
Silver-spotted skipper
Two-tailed swallowtail
Variegated fritillary
Weidemeyer’s admiral
Western tiger

Visit the Village Garden Center

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • Twitter
Related Posts
  • No Related Post
  • Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    We will keep You Updated...
    Sign up to receive breaking news
    as well as receive other site updates!
    Sponsors
    Your Ad HereYour Ad HereYour Ad Here
    Your Ad HereYour Ad HereYour Ad Here
    Sponsors
    Popular Posts

    Don’t plant flowers too early in season

        By ROGER HOLSINGER Star-Herald Assistant Editor  According to the calendar spring has arrived. But in western Nebraska there is always a chance for a spring...

    Add value and appeal with four simple home maintenance projects

    (ARA) - Regardless of whether you're staying or thinking of selling, you want your home to look its best and be an asset to the neighborhood. Attractive homes accrue in value and...

    Steps that make building onto your home simpler and safer

    (ARA) - It's the time of year to finish all the projects around the house that you put off all summer to go to the lake. Regardless if it is finishing a new deck, renovating the...

    How to make your outdoor living space as cool and comfortable as indoors

    How to make your outdoor living space as cool and comfortable as indoors (ARA) - It is easy to enjoy your deck or patio when the weather is warm and pleasant, and memories of...

    Waiting for Rain

    A Prairie Garden Journal 2003 The worst drought in local memory appears to not yet be over.  The state’s climatologist, when asked at the recent drought conference at the...
    Sponsors
    July 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Jun    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  
    Categories
    Recent Posts

    Corporations boost ag research funding

    COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The gap between federal support for agricultural research at large public universities...

    Creating a kid’s garden can be great fun for all

    Courtesy photoDuring this past holiday season, an article was released showing the top five toys that...

    Preserve your produce

    A new generation is finding that canning saves money and the taste can’t be beat By Jane Palmer World-Herald...

    Metal leafing can give old furniture new glamour

    By NEDRA PICKLER Associated Press Love the shiny glamour of mirrored or silver-leaf furniture, but...

    10 ways to jazz up an outdoor summer dinner party

    By AMY LORENTZEN For The Associated Press Keeping guests comfortable and entertained while dining...
    Recent Comments
    ... about Indian Grass - Sorghastrum nutans Click Here Now for Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) Indian Grass Indian Grass The Gr
    ... - White - Trillium grandiflorum Click Here Now for Trillium - White (Trillium grandiflorum) Trillium - White Trillium - White
    ... the same subject: http://spcsites.com/hp_homegarden/home/home-improvement/steps-that-make-building-onto-your-home-simp... Arli
    Add value and appeal with four simple home maintenance projects... We liked your article, so we (RambergMediaGroup) would be intere
    Tag Cloud