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Is there anything more magical than a butterfly? They are truly the colorful fairies of the garden. One of the best things about them is that you can easily attract them to your landscape with a few simple tricks. 

Learning How to Create a Butterfly Garden 

Make your yard a mecca for the fluttering insects during all stages of life, from caterpillar to butterfly. Butterflies have basic needs such as food, water, shelter, and shade. 

Choosing a Location

Pick a partially sunny location in your yard. Ideally, it should have some shelter from the wind. A spot with a few trees and shrubs is ideal because butterflies roost at night so they like a secluded spot where they feel safe. Also, having ample foliage in the butterfly garden provides much-needed shade during the sweltering hot afternoons. 

Position Rocks Throughout the Garden

You’ll want to add at least one or two flat rocks that are fairly large. Butterflies love to sun themselves during the morning to warm up after the long night. They are attracted to flat rocks positioned to receive the morning light. 

Offer Ample Water

A butterfly does not have the ability to drink from open water, so you’ll want to create a ‘puddle’ by filling a container. An old birdbath works well for a butterfly drinking spot. Use a bit of wet sand so they can perch and drink safely. Just a tiny bit of water will do. Remember, too much water and you run the risk of drowning the insects if they slip into the liquid or their wings become overly wet. 

Add Plants to the Butterfly Garden

A true butterfly garden has ample plants to provide nectar for the adult insects and plant fibers for the growing larvae.

Plant the following plants in your butterfly garden:

  • Butterfly Bush
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Cosmos
  • Butterfly weed. 
  • Aster
  • Joe-Pye weed
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Zinnia 
  • Phlox
  • Fennel
  • Dill 
  • Sedum 
  • Milkweed (the number one food source of the Monarch caterpillars)
  • Parsley 

You should choose a mix of annuals and perennials to ensure ample blooms all season. Also, set out containers and hanging baskets of flowers. 

If the flowers start to wane and you worry that your butterflies might not be receiving the food, they need then set out older peaches, bananas, or pears to provide nectar for your flying friends. 

Shrubs for the garden include the following:

  • Sweetspire
  • Elderberry
  • Viburnum

Research the native plants of your area to determine which ones attract the local butterflies. 

Maintain a Safe and Thriving Environment

Do not use pesticides in your butterfly garden. Instead opt to keep pests at bay naturally or you run the risk of killing or harming the butterflies and caterpillars that you are trying to nurture. 

You can provide nutrition for the plants in your garden to encourage them to thrive. Try Humboldts Secret Starter Kit to give your plants exactly what they need to look fabulous. At Humboldts, we also sell a variety of other nutrients for your butterfly garden. Contact us to learn more.


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