Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tips on Attracting Butterflies to Your Yard

         I love butterflies almost as much as I love birds, not as much as my mother-in-law Bree does(she even wears them on her,hehe) but I do love watch the "flying flowers" and it's really not hard to attract them to your yard. Her are some really easy tips you can do to bring them to your yard!
        A sunny place to warm themselves: Butterflies are cold-blooded and bask in the sun to raise their body temperatures. A sunny, flowering garden with a flat stone for basking tucked among the blooms will help attract butterflies.
        Some shade for when they rest: Shrubs, small trees and vine-covered trellises provide protection from wind and rain as well as a resting place.
        A fence or tree for a windbreak: Butterflies dislike strong winds, so it helps to include ornamental grasses and tall plants to provide windbreaks
         Damp soil or sand for a water source: Butterflies drink by sucking water from moist ground. Sink a saucer in the ground, fill with sand and soak. Then put a flat pebble at the edge for a perch.        Nectar plants for food: Butterflies are attracted to the simpler, brighter flowers. Size, shape, fragrance and visual markings on flowers help butterflies locate nectar. Butterflies more easily spot masses of color, so place flowering plants in groups if possible. 
         Food plants for the caterpillars: Encourage female butterflies to lay eggs in the garden by planting larval food plants. The caterpillars that hatch will seek a safe place to form a cocoon. Several days later, a new butterfly will emerge. The larvae, or caterpillars, will eat tender foliage on these food plants, but leaves will grow back.
         No pesticide: Butterflies need an insecticide-free garden. Avoid toxic products.

          A list of flowers that Butterflies love
 
Ageratum
Alyssum
Aster
Bird of paradise (Caesalpinia gilliesii)
Black-eyed Susan
Blanket flower
Butterfly weed (asclepias)
Butterfly bush (buddleia)
Coreopsis
Cosmos
Globe amaranth
Goldenrod
Hamelia
Lantana
Liatris
Mexican flame vine
Morning glory
Penta
Phlox
Pincushion flower (scabiosa)
Plumbago
Porterweed
Purple coneflower
Salvias
Sedum
Stokes aster
Sweet autumn clematis
Verbena
Zinnias


        Here is a list of larval food plants

 
Althea — gray hairstreak
Butterfly weed - monarch
Canna - Brazilian skipper (canna leafroller)
Clover - sulphur
Dogwood - spring azure
Esperanza (Tecoma stans) - gray hairstreak
 Buckeye
Mock orange - tiger swallowtail
Parsley hawthorn - gray hair streak Painted lady
Passionflower vine - Gulf fritillary, Julia
Paw paw - zebra swallowtail
Queen Anne's lace - Eastern black swallowtail
Redbud - Henry's elfin
Ruellia - buckeye, Cuban crescent spot
Shrimp plant - Texan crescentspot
Spicebush - spicebush swallowtail, tiger swallowtail
Wisteria - silver-spotted skipper

1 comment:

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I have a lantana on the corner of my yard, and the manager has been trying to kill it since I moved here..he is a native to Texas plant and won't die..and when it blooms I have all kinds of bees and butterflies..I love it.