Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Everything Butterfly: Butterfly Garden

What REALLY got us started with a love for butterflies this year was a simple caterpillar kit we ordered online (see my affiliate link below for further details).  The kit came with wonderful instructions, five live caterpillars, and a large butterfly house/net.

IF you are approaching cooler weather where you live you may want to save this activity for spring OR complete now but consider releasing the butterflies at a local indoor butterfly garden!  We had SO MUCH fun watching the life-cycle unfold before our eyes!

After we released our butterflies we started to make our own back yard garden.  My husband cut out a small rectangular place in our yard, bordered it with wood planks, and filled it with loose soil.

Next, we added two types of plants...HOST plants and NECTAR plants.  Host plants are the plants that butterflies lay their eggs on.  For example a monarch butterfly will lay her eggs on a milkweed plant SO milkweed would be considered the host plant.  Different butterflies prefer different types of host plants!  The best way to know what type of host plants to plant in your garden is to see what type of butterflies are in your local area.  Then pick out host plants that those butterflies will lay their eggs on.  Not sure what type of butterflies you have in your yard?  Visit a local nursery or science center and ask!!  The butterflies can smell the host plant many miles away and will come to your garden to lay their eggs!
We are fortunate to live close to a wonderful nursery that actually encourages you to plant butterfly gardens.  They have many types of host plants available for purchase.  Pictured above are the plant labels of what butterflies they will attract.
Next (the easy part), plant nectar plants for your butterflies to feed on!  Some nectar plants butterflies really enjoy so carefully read your plant labels to see if they will attract butterflies!  Try to plant a variety of colors and flowers that bloom throughout the season!

Now watch & wait to see your new winged friends visit your garden!

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