Butterflies are among the most beautiful and interesting creatures on Earth. By planting a butterfly garden with all of the right kinds of plants and flowers that butterflies love to feed on and lay eggs on, you will certainly have a yard full of butterflies throughout the growing season.
Butterfly gardens can be any size — a window box, part of your landscaped yard, or even a wild untended area on your property. The design for your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.
Apart from sipping the occasional bit of nectar for energy and pollinating flowers as they go, butterflies have a very important function in life; to mate and for the female to lay her eggs on specific plants (called host plants) that are suitable for 'her' caterpillars to feed on. Each butterfly species has host plants that are specific to it. After mating, the female must begin the hunt for suitable plants, and will move from area to area (or garden to garden), gaining strength by sipping the odd bit of nectar from particular flowers along the way. She will continue her journey until she has located a suitable host plant in good enough condition to support hungry caterpillars.
Cultivate a wide selection of host plants and a variety of beautiful free‑flowering shrubs and perennials to supply nectar refreshment. Caterpillars rapidly grow into butterflies and the tree will soon boast a brand new set of bright and shiny leaves. Feeding caterpillars is a small sacrifice to make for the privilege of having brilliant butterflies flitting through the garden.
Butterfly gardens are a great source for your own enjoyment, photo opportunities, or an outlet for artistic talent.
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