Creating a Butterfly Garden — Learn how to make a butterfly garden in your own backyard and keep the butterflies coming all season long.
Create a butterfly habitat by grouping attractive flowering plants together in a manner that is pleasing to both you and the butterflies. Learn how to distinguish the male monarch butterfly from the female by looking for differences in the wing pattern.
Attract both the male and the female monarch butterfly to your new butterfly garden by learning their likes and dislikes. Choose from a list of flowering plants and nectar sources to start creating your own DIY butterfly garden now.
Creating a Butterfly Garden: Learn How to Make a Butterfly Garden
Create a butterfly garden and bring springtime to your home all year around. Plant colorful, flower-bearing shrubs and plants and make a butterfly habitat in your own backyard. Learn about the mating and feeding practices of the male and female Monarch butterfly. Butterfly-garden for life.
Create Your DIY Butterfly Garden
Creating a butterfly garden is as simple as knowing what types of flowering plants are most attractive to butterflies. Rather than just planting one or two of the same species of plant, it is best to place several together in a group, so that they are more noticeable to the butterflies.
To keep butterflies coming to your backyard all year round, stagger annual and perennial plants around the garden. Intersperse bulbs throughout the annuals and perennials for a constant show of color throughout the whole season. Different butterflies prefer different types of nectar, and gardening in this manner will ensure a pleasing buffet for all types.
An important aspect to remember about butterfly gardening is to never use broad-spectrum insecticides in or around your new butterfly garden. Butterflies, as beautiful as they are, are still part of the insect family and can be killed off by general purpose insecticides. Organic pest control products can be found at your local home and garden center or you can try mixing together your own homemade organic pesticides.
Flowers for the Garden
Aster, Black-eyed Susans and butterfly milkweed are good examples of flowers that you would group together in a butterfly garden. The aster, with its yellow-centered purple flower, makes an excellent complement to the yellow and orange of the Black-eyed Susans and the butterfly milkweed.
Butterfly milkweed is an important part of any butterfly garden, as this is the only plant the female Monarch butterfly will lay her eggs on. Plant plenty of this beautiful flowering plant and you will be on your way to having your own self-producing butterfly habitat.
Hibiscus, daisies, lavender, daylilies, coreopsis, coneflower, lavender and verbena are also flowers that you might consider adding to your new butterfly habitat.
Attracting the Male Monarch Butterfly
The male Monarch butterfly can be easily distinguished from the female by the two black dots on the back hind wings. The female monarch butterfly has no such marks.
Male Monarch butterflies like to “puddle” in the mud. This activity is often engaged in to replace salts and minerals lost during the mating process. While mud puddles may not be readily available, you can easily make some of your own.
Make a mud puddle by sinking an empty margarine tub in the ground and filling it with gravel and sand, and then add water until you have a muddy consistency. Male Monarch butterflies also enjoy rotting fruit such as mangoes, oranges, and bananas. Place a small saucer of fruit next to the mud puddle for an extra attractant.
Pulling It All Together
Once you have chosen a variety of flowering shrubs and plants, remember to place the tallest plants in the back of your garden for structure. Interspersing flowering fall and spring bulbs throughout the garden will ensure a show of color from spring through autumn as well.
Remember, grouping several of the same plants together has a much more eye-pleasing effect for both you and the butterflies when you create a butterfly garden.
For more ideas of flowering plants to add to your garden, refer to this list of recommended flowering plants:
- Buddelia (Butterfly Bush)
- Bee balm
- Catmint (Catnip)
- Joe Pye Weed
How to Create Garden Scenes
This series will focus on how to create garden scenes simply and inexpensively. It will detail combining trees, shrubs, and flowering plants rather than timbers and stones for a charming effect. You will learn how to create a bird sanctuary, rose garden, and a cottage garden easily and frugally.
- Monarch Watch: Butterfly Gardening – https://monarchwatch.org/garden/
- ENTFACT-006: How To Make Butterfly Gardens by Stephanie Bailey, Extension Specialist, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture – https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef006