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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

Creating a Butterfly Garden

 

Before starting your butterfly garden do your homework.

  • Before selecting the location for the garden, do some research.  Discover which butterflies were native in my area. (No reason to put in plants that attract butterflies that don't live in your area, right?)

  • Learn what butterflies on in your area - Lubbock County butterflies.

  • Make a list of plants that serve as a source of nectar for butterflies in your area.

  • Make a list of plants that serve as hosts for the caterpillars in your area.  In order to encourage more butterflies you have provide places for them to lay eggs and for caterpillars to feast and a place to hang-out until they become the next generation of butterflies.

  • You must provide food (host plants) for the caterpillars and not just pretty flowers (nectar plants) for the adults.

Be a joyfully gardener and create a butterfly-friendly garden.

  • A sunny area is better than a shady one.

  • Plant trees & shrubs around part of the perimeter. Keep the center as a sunny, open space.

  • Provide plenty of colorful, nectar-rich flowers.

Put several clusters  of the same plants together.

  • This will shorten the distance that butterflies have to travel.

  • With bold masses of brightly-colored flowers they will stay and feed longer.

  • Scatter these clusters throughout the garden

Provide some height and shelter from the wind.

  • Trees & shrubs not only provide height, but also provide wind protection.

  • Provide shelter from the wind - surround your garden with trees and/or tall shrubs. 

  • As an alternative, "plant" an arbor.  I lack trees so I'll make some  trellises and grow vines.

What ever you do, don't use pesticides. 

  • Let unwanted insects live.  Pesticides don't discriminate between the good & bad insects. 

  • If you feel inclined to kill the bad bugs, then use nature-friendly methods.

Give the butterflies a place to bask.

  • Place large flat stones or gravel areas in strategic locations that get the full sun, so that butterflies can bask in the warmth.

Create mud baths.

  • Made mud puddles in shallow holes in the ground or in saucers of wet sand so butterflies can feast on the nutrients

  • Found several references online that suggested using mushroom compost instead of sand.  I haven't tried it.

Leave some water.

  • Butterflies need some water - not a lot.   They get moisture from nectar, dew, and tree sap. The mud baths of  moist dirt or sand will also be a water source.

Offer rotting fruit trays.

  • Over-ripe bananas are the big favorite.  Simply slice lengthwise or in rings or mashed up.  Put in a saucer and drizzle with watermelon Gatorade - just enough liquid to make a slight pool.

  • to speed up the rotting process of bananas, freeze a fresh one and then thaw and serve.  

  • You can try any over-ripe fruit - apples, oranges, melons, etc.

  • Replace the fruit when it dries out or becomes moldy.
     

Don't remove dead plants - could be somebody's home.

  • These annuals and perennials can contain over-wintering butterfly pupa or larva. 

  • They also can provide seeds for many species of wildlife and spring nesting cover for some birds.

Mulch around the base of host plant.
  • Some caterpillars hide during the day and feed at night. Other caterpillars will form their chrysalis or pupa in the mulch.
Sources for Plant in Lubbock
And for you - add a table & chair so you can enjoy the show.

Remember that once you have made a habitat for butterflies in your own yard
you have helped secure their future.  Now pull up a chair and watch to show. 


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