Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Friday, May 9, 2008

Butterly Gardening

Due to the the destruction of wilderness areas, and growing urban developement, butterfly habitats are growing scarce. If you would like to play a part in these beautiful creatures conservation, plant a butterfly garden. You don't have to have a big area, several potted plants grouped together in the sun can provide a haven for butterflies. Keeping in mind a few simples "rules", you should soon be enjoying these beautiful creatures in your yard.

Butterflies are sun loving creatures. Plant your garden where it will receive at least 6 hours of sun each day

Plant both nectar and host plants.

Examples of nectar plants include butterfly bush, blueberry bushes, mock orange, plums coneflowers, milkweeds, spearmint, lantana, verbena, zinnias, lavender, asters, bee balm, and black eyed susans. This is only a very limited list.

Host plants, where the butterfly can lay their eggs, and feed the butterfly, include alfalfa, clovers, sweet fennel, dill, parsley, fennel, carrots, snapdragons, plants in the mustard and cabbage family. Remember, the caterpillar will be feeding on these plants, so if you are concerned about a few"ragged " plants, you may want to locate them in an area where they won't be seen.
Provide water for your butterflies. They don't need deep water like a birdbath. Provide a patch of wet sand along the edge of your garden, or a shallow container. In the container, fill partway with sand, and in the recessed area, put your water. The butterflies will stand on the sand and drink.
No pesticides or herbicides can be used on your plants. Butterflies are sensitive to chemicals.

Now relax and enjoy


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