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Tyler Arboretum: August for butterflies and nectar gardens

Inviting bench and sign at the Butterfly House exhibit.
Inviting bench and sign at the Butterfly House exhibit.
Kathy Martin ( Tyler Arboretum

Nectar gardening is new to many avid gardeners, but as the Butterfly House exhibit at Tyler Arboretum validates, the benefits are bold and beautiful, and a welcome sign for your fluttering friends. The concept is simple. Select from many lovely nectar plants, include host plants, and invite to your garden caterpillars to butterflies, such as the monarch. August is the right time to learn more.

Butterflies need our help

In the past 10 years, there have been reports detailing the decline of the migrating monarch butterfly. Loss of habitat and cold temperatures are some of the sited reasons by organizations such as and To help reverse their decline, planting native milkweed, providing nectar plants and avoiding pesticides are encouraged. The Butterfly House at Tyler Arboretum offers an up close and personal way to learn more about monarchs and other butterflies, as well as, which nectar plants to consider for your garden. Best of all, at the Butterfly House at Tyler Arboretum, you get to watch and learn of butterflies in their own world of favorites. The 1,400-square-foot screened enclosure is a delight for young and old to experience, as butterflies, such as skippers, swallowtails, and monarchs, flutter around you and the colorful flowers that they adore.

Invite butterflies to your garden

You will surely recognize some of the flowers that are part of the extensive planting inside the Butterfly House at Tyler Arboretum. Likely, some of these same nectar plants are flowering in your garden, this August. Well-loved flowers, such as coneflowers and zinnias, are just two of the many mainstay nectar plants that are native to our area. There are also nectar plants we would consider an herb or spice, which certain butterflies prefer. One detail that may be new to gardeners who wish to bring butterflies to their space, is the importance of growing host plants for caterpillars to devour. The Butterfly Weed, different than the Butterfly Bush, is one such host plant ideally desired by the monarch caterpillar.

August is the time for butterflies

August is the time to take advantage of that which is in bloom and this exhibit. The Amazing Butterflies exhibit is open until September 1st to enjoy learning from the personable spokesperson at the Butterfly House. The experience is delightful whether you visit with children, adults, or on your own. Another opportunity in August is the Butterfly Festival. This special event is Saturday, August 23rd from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm, and sponsored by Rebud Native Plant Nursery. Either way, August is the month to feel free as a butterfly, at Tyler Arboretum. Watch, listen, and learn more about how to invite these fluttering friends to you garden. Life is certainly more colorful and vibrant with butterflies in our world, and it feels so wonderfully free when we get to experience the world of butterflies. Flutter in, soon, to the Butterfly House at Tyler Arboretum. It is such a perfect time to be free.

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