How to Make a Homemade Butterfly Garden

Looking for a unique way to landscape your back yard? How about making a homemade butterfly garden? This garden can attracts several species of butterflies. It also gives them a permanent place to live and reproduce.

These beautiful creatures can give you, your family, and your visitors, hours of entertainment as you watch them flutter around your backyard during their daily routines. A butterfly garden can also help you teach your children about the life cycle of a butterfly.

The first step is to choose a suitable location in your backyard. The area should be large enough to grow several types of flowers in. The soil should also be well-drained. And, the location needs to be cleared off and in a sunny spot.

The butterflies will need plenty of exposure to the sun in order to keep warm. You see, insects are naturally cold-blooded. So butterflies will “sunbathe” in order to keep warm.

On the other hand, if the weather is too hot, the butterflies might escape and hang out in a nearby shaded area.

Your homemade butterfly garden will also need some type of housing for your inhabitants. The housing can be as simple as planting shrubs and bushes. Or, it can be a little more complex by using butterfly boxes. The boxes, of course, offer a better level of protection from the elements. This is especially important for the females of the species. The females look for shelters that will protect the eggs they lay.

(Out of the eggs will come small caterpillars. They then become pupas. The last stage is becoming an adult butterfly.)

Your homemade butterfly garden will need to contain plenty of colorful, nectar-producing flowers. You’ll need to choose plants that bloom at different times throughout the season. Annual flowers bloom the entire summer. That way, the butterflies will always have food close by, and they will stay around. Having food at all times will also attract new butterflies to inhabit your garden as well.

There are many species of butterflies, and each species has their own taste. Believe-it-or-not, not all nectar tastes the same! So, in order to attract different types of these insects, you’ll need to choose a variety of plants that will satisfy the appetites of many.

Check local nurseries if you’re not sure what flowers you can choose from. The flowers you can plant in your butterfly garden will depend on your location. Some possibilities that are known to attract butterflies include Purple Coneflowers, Aster, Queen Anne’s Lace, Black-eyed Susan, Hibiscus, Peony, Butterfly Weed, Hollyhock, Azaleas, Lilac, Lavender, Marigold, Phlox, Daylilies,
Petunia, and Nasturtium.

You can also plant herbs such as Dill, Mint, Verbena, Yarrow, and Rosemary. They’ll attract butterflies to your homemade garden as well.

You can add another attraction to your garden by providing a source of water for your butterflies. The males of the species, especially, are drawn in to mud puddles and other sources of water. You can dig a hole and bury a clean coffee can, a small bucket, or a clean milk gallon jug with the top cut off among the flowers. Then, fill the container with gravel. Butterflies like water, but they also like flat soda pop, Kool-Aid�, and natural juices poured over the gravel.

Since they have long, tubular mouths, the only thing that butterflies are able to feed on are nectar, water, and sugary liquids.

And, finally, if you use toxic pesticides or herbicides to kill unwanted pests and plants, be sure that you don’t use these products anywhere near your homemade butterfly garden.

You may want to choose non-toxic methods for eradicating things you don’t want in your backyard instead.

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