Butterflies make people happy and they ask, "How can I attract butterflies to my yard?" You will have happy butterflies in your yard, when they have food, sun, shelter, shade, water and caterpillar host plants.
Butterflies are attracted to bright colored flowers such as red, yellow, orange, pink and purples.
The best way to attract the butterflies is with food. Butterflies are just like us, they have to eat.
Butterflies feed from short flowers. They can't reach deep into a long tubular flower like the hummingbirds.
Butterflies like to have flowers where they can land, so they can feed sitting down.
Daisies or a flat cluster of small flowers give the butterflies a place to land, as well as lots of butterfly food.
Most butterflies eat flower nectar, but the Zebra Longwing and a few other butterflies eat pollen.
The very best way to attract butterflies is to provide the flowers they like!
Butterflies need flowers spring, summer and fall. Plan on having your flowers blooming throughout the seasons for a continuous supply of butterfly food.
Butterflies enjoy cut fruit such as oranges, mangoes and watermelon. If you have any rotting fruit, they would enjoy them also.
Many of our regular landscape plants attract butterflies. Common Lilac bushes in the north and in the south the Crape Myrtle tree are both enjoyed by beautiful butterflies.
No matter where you live you could use Daylilies, Sedum, Sweet Alyssum, Sunflowers, Lavender and Azaleas.
Butterflies also feed from our vegetable gardens and wildflowers.
Wild plants provide food and cover for the butterflies and caterpillars.
Plants need pollinators and the butterflies need plants for nectar, pollen and caterpillar food. Many of our native plants and butterflies depend on each other.
Butterflies don't have the capability of warming their bodies.
They need the sun to stay warm. They especially have to warm up in the mornings. In the morning they like to sit on a rock to absorb the sun’s warmth.
Mix a flat rock or two into your butterfly garden where the butterflies can land and sit to warm up.
Butterflies need some shade and protection from bad weather. You probably already have shelter in your yard with trees, shrubs, or hedges.
Butterflies use shade to cool themselves down from the hot summer sun.
Butterflies don’t drink out of open water. They drink from shallow water or moist soil.
will see butterflies drinking on the edges of a pond where the soil is wet. This is called puddling.
Don’t have a pond? Dampen a spot of soil for the butterflies to puddle. Fill a potted plant saucer with sand and keep it damp.
Butterflies like to lay their eggs on plants their caterpillars will eat. So when you have caterpillar host plants in your garden, the butterflies will come.
Check with your local extension service to find out what butterflies are native to your area. They can tell you which host plants are good for their caterpillars.
Do not use any pesticides in your butterfly area. We don’t want to kill the butterflies we are attracting.
With these few simple steps you can attract more butterflies to your garden.