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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 house, 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 resolve to plan a butterfly garden of my own.

Before creating the garden, I needed to research plants that both attract butterflies and that act as hosts for them.  I am particularly interested in discovering perennials suited for butterfly gardens.  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.

Butterflies All A Flitter Links

The first point I discovered is that before selecting plants it is important to understand the life-cycle of butterflies. Their short lives can be divided into these four stages:
  • One: Eggs laid on host plants -- The egg is a tiny, round, oval, or cylindrical object, usually with fine ribs and other microscopic structures. The female attaches the egg to leaves, stems, or other objects, usually on or near the intended caterpillar food.
  • Two: Caterpillars feeding on host plants -- The caterpillar (or larva) is the long, worm-like stage of the butterfly or moth. It often has an interesting pattern of stripes or patches, and it may have spine-like hairs. It is the feeding and growth stage. As it grows, it sheds its skin four or more times so as to enclose its rapidly growing body.  Caterpillars of some species feed on plants which are usually considered weeds, and you can benefit populations of these species by not removing all of the weeds.
  • Three: Chrysalides hanging from leaves and branches -- chrysalis (or pupa) is the transformation stage within which the caterpillar tissues are broken down and the adult insect's structures are formed. The chrysalis of most species is brown or green and blends into the background. Many species over-winter in this stage.
  • Four: Adult butterflies feeding on nectar plants -- The adult emerges from the chrysalis.

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 butterfly guests.



Joy Blooms . . . in the garden!

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