Take a walk around your yard, have you noticed any butterflies lately? If not, it’s time to consider how you can make that happen. Why are butterflies important to our gardens? Not only do they make us happy as they flutter around bouncing from flower to flower in an array of beautiful and interesting colors, they are also very important pollinators. Our food supply depends on pollinators for production.
The good news is we all have the opportunity to help these pollinators increase. Not only will they help our environment, you will enjoy the beauty and peace they bring to all of us. Butterflies are also a perfect way for children to learn about nature. While some insects can be scary to little ones, butterflies are magical and colorful which offers an opportunity to teach about their important role in our environment. Do you want to attract butterflies to your living space? Here are a few simple steps
• Plant Pollen-Rich flowers. Blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs to create pollen and nectar throughout the seasons. These can be grown in gardens and pots.
• Pay attention to pesticides. Even some organics can be harmful but organics are safer than chemicals. If you must use chemicals, be careful not to use on open blooms
• Provide shelter. Bees, butterflies and other pollinators need shelter to hide from predators. Hedges, grass clippings, or a tree stump provide the cover these pollinators need. Habitats are also available to help with shelter and can add décor to your garden space.
• Provide food and water. Water gardens, birdbaths, rain barrels are all perfect water sources. Butterflies also love muddy puddles that provide them salt and nutrients
By helping these winged beauties, not only will you feel the peace and joy that they bring, you can experience the satisfaction of contributing to our environment by helping these pollinators thrive.
Some excellent flowering plants that attract butterflies are:
Butterfly Bush, Sunflowers, Daylily, Marigolds, Zinnia, Phlox, Sage, Lantana, Impatiens, Lavender, Cosmos, Nasturtium, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, Basil, Dianthus, Oregano, Shasta Daisy, Cana, Cora Bell, Verbena, Holly Hocks, Cora Bells, Skull Cap.
Your local garden center can help you to choose the perfect plants to create your own butterfly garden.