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Creating Butterfly Gardens


Photo credit: B Cool

Butterflies are drawn to areas that provide water, food and shelter. Remember the following when creating a butterfly garden:

- Butterflies like direct sunlight and heat.
- Avoid using chemical pesticides.
- Provide a warm resting spot by placing a few flat stones around the garden.
 
A butterfly bath should be very shallow. Just a slight film of water on a rock or pavement. A good idea is to use a shallow clay saucer and fill it with river stones and gravel. It will prevent from instant water evaporation and at the same time will enable the butterflies to perch on the stones and not get drowned.   
 
Butterflies are cold blooded, so plant the garden in a warm, sunny area. Provide flat rocks for them to rest on.
 
Butterflies' wings are extremely fragile, so plant near a wall or fence that will shelter your garden from wind. Also, you could plant a hedge of butterfly bushes or viburnum, which will also provide nighttime shelter for the butterflies.
 
To entice butterflies to your garden, plant for the caterpillars as well as the butterflies. Butterflies go through several life stages that require a specific place in your garden.
 
Some butterflies do not feed on nectar. Providing supplemental foods will encourage them to stop by your garden. Provide fruit that's past its prime as food option - peaches, watermelon, pears, apples, bananas, canteloupe, figs, grapes, nectarines, tomatoes are among the favorite.
 
Here are some of the plants suitable for butterfly gardens: asters, coreopsis, coneflowers, blanket flowers, sunflowers, Mexican hats, scabiosa (pincushion), anise hyssop, salvias,penstemons, yarrows, alliums, milkweeds, astilbes, pholox, sedums, goldenrods, verbenas, hollyhock, daylilies, hibiscus, butterfly bush, buttonbush, lilies, mallows, thymes, mints, clovers, lantana, snapdragons, impatiens, cosmos, marigolds, sweet alyssum, candytufts, zinnias, nasturtiums.

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