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Tips to Make Your Garden Irresistible to Butterflies

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Tips to Make Your Garden Irresistible to Butterflies

By Ramon Gonzalez, TreeHugger

Planting your garden with plants that attract butterflies is only one step in making your garden butterfly-friendly. Once butterflies discover your garden the females will lay eggs on plants that become food for the hatching caterpillars.

The host plant selected, and the time of year the eggs are laid, depends on the species of butterfly. Different butterflies prefer different host plants.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution if your aim is to entice a diverse selection of butterflies into your garden.

To get a better understanding of the diversity needed I turned to author and garden blogger Benjamin Vogt. Benjamin runs a native plant gardening consulting company near Lincoln, Nebraska, and is one of the most passionate advocates of native plants that I know online.

Below are his suggestions for creating an environment that encourages butterflies to complete their life cycle in our gardens.

Host Plants for Butterflies
Monarchs like to feed on common plants like milkweed, while other species are ferocious eaters of many of our favorite garden herbs. Fennel, parsley, and dill make good hosts for Black Swallowtails. Some sulfur butterflies are hosted by Baptisia.

Trees and Shrubs That Host Butterflies
Often overlooked when speaking about butterfly hosts are trees and shrubs, but they are just as important as the plants listed above. According to Benjamin, oaks, willows, chokecherries, and elms are great butterfly larvae host trees.

Next: the most important rule for butterfly gardening

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Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Environment, Green, Home, Lawns & Gardens, Natural Pest Control, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, , , , ,

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1:04PM PST on Feb 28, 2013


9:23AM PST on Jan 23, 2013

thanks, sharing this!

7:51PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Simply Irresistible !

1:53PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

I love watching butterflies. They are so beautiful.

5:22AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

sadly, all I really ever see are moths

4:38AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Thanks for the info. I have lots of plants that attract butterflies in my garden, but I never thought about putting fruit out for them; I'll definately do that in future.

12:19AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

I visited a "butterfly house" recently. They had a lot of pieces of fruit, and the butterflies seemed to like them.

5:56AM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

I love watching butterflies floating through my garden.

5:04PM PDT on Jun 29, 2012


4:55PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Our garden is a butterfly-walhalla in progress!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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I wake up every 2 hours, have done for years :)


Wet moss or wet tree lichen. Until you can get to something better. It really does help.

Great advice. Thank you. Also, how could anyone deny their pet(s) (or any human for that matter) …

How sweet. I shared this on twitter. Does anyone have an idea of what dog breed this could be?


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