Tips to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

monarch butterfly on pink milkweed
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Tips to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Butterflies are Important Pollinators

Invite the majestic presence of swallowtails, skippers, monarchs, and more into your garden with these butterfly-attracting tips. Using plants with ample nectar-rich blooms as well as providing necessary shelter will bring in many species of winged visitors. Not to mention beautify your garden over a long, fruitful season.

Rudbeckia Denver DaisyRudbeckia Denver Daisy

Attract Butterflies to Your Garden with these Tips

  • Butterflies like a lot of sunlight, so locate your garden in a sunny area.
  • If you live in a windy location, plant your butterfly-attracting plants near a building, fence, or hedge to protect them.
  • Plant a variety of nectar-rich plants, as well as shrubs and evergreens for shelter.
  • Butterflies and native flowering plants have co-evolved: put in plants that are native to your area. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center provides lists of plants native to states and regions.
  • Certain colors are attractive to butterflies like red, yellow, pink, purple, or orange.
  • Avoid using pesticides, especially around nectar-producing plants.
  • Provide a shallow source of water – try a birdbath with pebbles lining the bowl.
  • Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.
  • Create a “puddling area” by digging a shallow hole filled with compost or manure. This is where rainwater will collect and release essential salts and minerals.
  • If you want butterflies to breed in your garden, put in some caterpillar food plants, such as parsley, milkweeds, asters, thistles, violets, clover, grasses, and Queen Anne’s Lace.
  • Since butterflies need nectar throughout the entire adult phase of their lives, try to create a design that will allow for a continuous bloom – when one stops blooming, another starts.

In addition to their beauty, butterflies are beneficial insects. Follow these tips to invite and keep these important pollinators in your garden