Joy Blooms, follow my adventures in Lubbock as I garden here


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Last Updated on:  12/16/2015 04:00 PM



 
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Joy Blooms in the Garden
Butterflies all a Flutter


What could bring more joy than watching a beautiful butterfly fluttering?


The Joy of Butterfly Gardens --  Butterfly Feeders, Bait & Nectar -- Life-Cycle of Butterflies
What I Learned about Butterflies -- Simple Steps to a Butterfly Garden -- Great Plants for Butterfly Gardens -- Butterflies etc.
Links

This page was Last Edited on 12/16/2015 04:00 PM

As a frequent visitor of the Butterfly Pavilion* not far from my former-house in Colorado, I became fascinated with the idea of having these lovely creatures take refuge in my backyard.  Outside the butterfly pavilion is planted a garden designed to attract butterflies.  I resolved to plan a butterfly garden of my own.

Since I enjoyed my own backyard Colorado Butterfly Garden, I want to recreate one in Lubbock.  Before creating the garden, I needed to research to find out which butterflies call Lubbock, TX home and which plants both attract these butterflies and act as their hosts.  I am sharing my research in the hopes that you will find it helpful.

* When in the Denver area, be sure to visit the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center, 104th and U.S. 36 in Westminster, Colorado.
   Open Tuesday through Sunday, 9am to 5pm. Call (303) 469-5441 for more information.  I'll miss visiting it.



The Joy of a Butterfly Garden

Butterflies in the garden, what could be better?  I certainly hope I will be able to duplicate my efforts in Texas.  The steps should be the same - the plants selected may be different -- and certainly the butterflies will be.   Thankfully butterflies are garden critics, they are just looking for a place to eat, drink, lay their eggs, and have a safe environment for their babies.
Before creating the garden, I needed to research to find out which butterflies call Lubbock, TX home and which plants both attract these butterflies and act as their hosts.  I am sharing my research in the hopes that you will find it helpful.  I am particularly interested in discovering perennials suited for butterfly gardens.  Just for clarification, the plants that caterpillars eat are called "host plants."   The plants that adult butterflies eat are called "nectar plants."  I'll want to have both kinds of plants to attract butterflies.  Keeping in mind that adult butterflies may prefer nectar from specific plants they will "eat" from a wide variety of sources.  Caterpillars are much more specific.  In picking plants for my garden, I have to be sure to include both host & nectar plants.  Certainly want to make the caterpillars & butterflies feel at home.
Let the adventure begin!  Come along - I'll keep you posted as to my progress, or lack there of.
Basic Concepts
  • Go native rather than using only hybrids.

  • Provide plants for each of the four life-cycles of the butterfly.

  • Plant in several clusters of the same plant and scatter the clusters throughout the garden.

  • Although the butterflies won't critique your garden design, they will like it better if you cluster the colors as well. You want the butterflies to see splotches of colors rather than a jumble of textures and colors.

  • Be generous with yellow, red and purple flowers.  Butterflies like these colors and so do I.

  • Research* to discover which flowers (HOST & NECTAR) attract specific butterflies in your area.  What works for me in hardiness zone is 7 to attract the butterflies of Lubbock County, TX may or may not work for you.

  • In addition to plants, accommodate butterfly behavior.
         Butterflies are cold-blooded.  They need a place bask under the sunís heat.
         Butterflies need minerals too.   They need a place for "puddling." (eating mud) 

  • Visit butterfly-feeder-project for instructions to make a butterfly feeder from a glass jar, a sponge and sugar water.

 

* If you don't want to go the trouble of discovering exactly which plants attract butterflies in your area, I have a "generic" list of "typical" plants that generally attract butterflies.  (What I am trying to say is:  "Try these plants, they may or may not work for you but at least you will have a beautiful garden to enjoy - with or without butterflies)
So here goes, the key in creating a butterfly garden is to meet the needs of these delicate-looking creatures so they will be all a flutter in your yard. 

Sources for Plant in Lubbock

If, no, when, my butterfly garden is successful, I'll go to the North America Butterfly Association and complete their application to the Butterfly Garden Certification Program.  Certified garden receive (you have to pay for) a sign that can be displayed.
List of Public Butterfly Habitats in Texas - this is not a complete list.
Plant scarlet milkweed (Asclepias curassavica).  It has a long blooming season from spring to late fall.  The orange and red flowers, rich in nectar, will attract butterflies.  They will lay eggs on the under-side of the leaves.  Once the caterpillars hatch, they will eat the leaves and then attach themselves until they emerge from the chrysalis as a butterfly.  The Cycle of Life on this one plant.   So plant a lot of it  - some for you and some for the butterflies/caterpillars.
20 COMMON PLANTS FOR A BUTTERFLY GARDEN
Asters

Bee balm (bergamot)

Butterfly bush

Clover (white or red)

Coreopsis

Dianthus

Holly Hock

Lavender

Lupine

Mints

Passionflower

Phlox

Purple coneflower

Sage

Salvia

Shasta daisy

Thistle

Violet

Yarrow

Zinnias

See expanded plant list

The key to an enjoyable butterfly garden is to have plants available for each of the four life-cycles of the butterfly
If you take the time to plan you will be rewarded with more fluttering guests.

New location will be the perfect time to make a butterfly feeder that youíve been thinking about.  If you do, you can expect to be rewarded with a season of interesting butterfly watching.  The butterflies that visit your feeder will typically stay awhile, and make frequent return visits.



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