Butterfly Herb Gardens

A Magical view

Have you ever watched a butterfly? I mean really truly watched a butterfly? It dips and swirls through the air in an almost magical way. Sometimes you can almost feel your heart and imagination soaring along with their colorful wings. All to soon they flit here and there and then are gone. If only they would stay! They will! You can help them do just that with a butterfly herb garden.

What do butterflies need?

Butterflies need several things in any kind of butterfly garden. Providing those things is up to you if you want them to stay.

Shelter and Sun

Among these are shelter from the wind. This is so a butterfly’s wings will not be caught in wind currents as he feeds. A butterfly also needs a sunny spot to bask in the sun’s warmth. You can provide small flat stones or bricks in your herb garden for this purpose. They not only give your butterflies a safe resting spot, but also add beauty to your herb garden.

Food and Water

Butterflies, of course, also need food and water to survive. Water can be provided in a birdbath or other container. One woman I know, didn’t want a large container like a birdbath. She went to the bath accessories in her local department store and bought novelty shaped soap dishes, filled with water, then placed them throughout the herb garden.

The food needed is where the herbs come in. With most herb gardens, design is an important part of the garden. Butterflies don’t care about that, they just want to eat! They need the nectar rich herb plants. They will be attracted to large sections of color, so plant herbs in groups or sections. A good color scheme would be two or three main colors with a contrasting background. Ornamental herbs are best used for butterfly gardens instead of culinary. Butterflies are particularly attracted to red. Pineapple sage is a butterfly’s favorite. It has bright red flowers and it also smells great! Many types of sage have red flowers. Two others that can be used with the pineapple sage is Cherry sage and honeydew melon sage. Other plants with various colored flowers that can be used are lavender, foxglove, basil, catmint, yarrow, and thyme. Creeping thyme is a purpled blossomed ground cover plant that butterflies love.

Keep in mind that with butterflies come caterpillars. Plant some food plants for them in out of the way sections of the garden. Good choices for them are parsley and dill.

Don’t prune and clip the plants too much. Butterflies like the soft overgrowth. Weed out dead plants but wait until summer to do serious cutting back.

With an herb garden made with butterflies in mind you are sure to have many opportunities to watch them and capture some of their magic for you to enjoy everyday!

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