While most gardeners try to keep out insects there is one type of insect that we all seem to love, the butterfly. Butterflies are winged insects that are beautiful, charming and intriguing. They make a nice addition to flower gardens and backyards. However, in order to attract butterflies to your yard you need to develop a butterfly garden.
The Butterfly Feeder
Like every other living thing on the planet, butterflies need food and water to survive. To attract butterflies to your yard you will want to provide your butterflies with both food and water. This is accomplished by setting up a butterfly feeder. Butterfly feeders can be purchased at a store or they can be made at home. Regardless if you buy or make your butterfly feeder you will need to fill it with butterfly food. This can be made by creating a sugar solution that is colored yellow or orange with food coloring.
Other Food Sources
When you are planning your butterfly garden you need to think about the plants that you will be positioning in your garden. These plants will need to provide your butterflies with food during their caterpillar stage and during their adult stage of life. This is something that many people don’t really think about. Most gardeners will select plants that are appropriate for providing food to adult butterflies, but few think about the food the butterflies need when they are caterpillars. Unfortunately, caterpillars are far pickier eaters than the adults, who will drink the nectar from nearly any brightly colors, short tube flowers. Caterpillars generally will only eat specific types of vegetation. For example, caterpillars of the giant swallowtails will only eat foliage off the northern prickly ash or from hop trees. In order to provide food for your caterpillars you will need to select plants that are appropriate for native butterflies in your area.
In addition to food butterflies need places to warm up and places to rest. You can enhance the attractiveness of your butterfly garden by placing flat stones around the garden. This will give the butterflies a place to sun themselves.
Butterfly gardens need to be safe places for butterflies. A good way to provide a secure garden for your butterflies is to locate the butterfly garden in a corner of your yard that is away from the street and that is gated to keep out pets and children. You can also place the butterfly feeder up off the ground to keep them safe from cats and other predators.