Plants That Attract Butterflies - Black Flowers

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Plants That Attract Butterflies

ButterflyBringing beautiful butterflies into your yard or garden is fairly easy when you plant the right types of flowers and shrubs. Butterflies are not only beautiful, they also serve an important role when it comes to pollinating plants. Plants should be chosen with the entire life cycle of the butterfly in mind, as plants are where butterflies lay their eggs, provide food sources for their caterpillars, are where the caterpillars form their chrysalides, and are the places where adult butterflies feed off of the nectar of flowers.

Tips For Choosing Plants To Attract Butterflies

It is very important when planning a butterfly garden, to choose plants that are native to your geographical region. Blossoms in the colors purple, pink, red, yellow, and orange work best in attracting butterflies. Because butterflies require nectar as adults, select various plants that will provide continuous blooming throughout the growing season. When one plant is finished blooming, you should have others that are currently in bloom. Butterflies prefer to feed during the day, so if possible, place the plants that provide the main sources of nectar in a sunny location. Also, skip the insecticides, as many of them are deadly to either the adult butterflies or their caterpillars.

Great Plants And Shrubs Butterflies Love

True to its name, the Butterfly Bush is an obvious choice for attracting butterflies. This shrub is full of fragrant flower blossoms in hues of white, blue, and purple, and acts like a magnet for butterflies. Place in a location that receives plenty of sun and that can handle a shrub that grows to be around ten feet tall. The bush can be pruned back if needed. Butterfly Weed is another obvious choice, with its attractive orange flowers that provide adults with needed nectar and leaves that the caterpillars love to feed on. The pretty orange flowers are especially good for attracting Monarch butterflies to your garden.

Anise Hyssop is another good choice for butterfly gardens. This plant will reach about five feet tall, and features long blooming spikes of beautiful lavender-pink flowers. Phlox are also excellent choices and work well planted in any wildflower garden, or along the house in rows. They have a lovely fragrance that we humans enjoy, while providing butterflies with plenty of nectar.

During the fall, the Aster serves a dual purpose in attracting butterflies. These flowers provide ample blooms in a variety of beautiful colors. They are a good source of nectar, and the Pearl Crescent caterpillars feed off of the leaves of this fall plant.

A long blooming summer perennial, the Purple Coneflower is a favorite of our winged friends. Grown in a wildflower garden, or used as a border flower in a sunny location, these plants are attractive and provide good nectar sources for butterflies. The Purple Coneflower looks great when planted alongside the Black-Eyed Susan, a bright yellow perennial daisy shaped flower that butterflies also love.

Lantana is a perfect choice for use in container planting, or for use in beds or borders. These bright pink, orange, yellow, cream, or white blooms will attract butterflies all summer long. Another great choice that works well in containers, beds, or borders is the Zinnia. Available in a wide choice of bright colors, the Zinnia will provide blooms and nectar all summer long.

Other Good Choices For Attracting Butterflies

There are also many other plants that will bring butterflies flying your way and keep them coming back. They include Joe Pye Weed, Coreopsis, South American Verbena, Mexican Sunflowers, Passionflower, Pentas, and Salvia.

Add Flat Stones And Sand For Puddling

Aside from gathering nectar, butterflies also need to rest. Adding flat stones to the garden area will give the butterflies a place to relax and rest and warm their wings in the sunshine. Adding a small pan filled with coarse sand is also a way to get butterflies to visit your garden. Butterflies do what is known as “puddling”. This is the act of gathering on moist sand in order to drink of the water and extract minerals from the sand. Keep the sand constantly moist, not wet, and place the pan on the regular soil in your butterfly garden area.

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About Paula Atwell

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer who admires beautiful flowers and a good cup of coffee in the morning.

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