Butterflies add so much beauty to your life why not make them happy by creating an environment that invites them into your life. It’s really easy to do and if you create a butterfly garden, you’ll have the added benefit of getting a little exercise and the beautiful flowers you plant will make you happy too.
Indigenous butterfly populations will vary depending on where you live. However, regardless of where you live, there are characteristics common to all butterflies. They start out as an egg that’s been deposited on a plant preferred by the species. The larval stage comes next then the pupa and finally the gorgeous creature we call a butterfly.
If you live in the Seattle area like me, there’s a great website that tells you not only what butterflies can be found here, but also what they eat and their preferred plant for depositing eggs. Check it out at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabaws/Butterfly%20Food%20Plants.pdf.
To get this information I typed in “common butterflies Seattle” in Google and found NABA right away. I tried a few other cities too and here’s what I found:
Sydney Australia: http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/sydbuts.html
Japan : http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~ak5t-kmn/ A great site with lots of information and pics.
New York, New York – http://www.naba.org/pubs/ab97c/p4.html
With few exceptions, you will find butterflies no matter where you live. Invite them into your life and they will remind you that there is beauty everywhere.
Here are the steps to attract butterflies.
Step 1. Find the butterflies common to your area.
Step 2. Identify the plants on which they deposit their eggs and what they eat. Some like fruit, others like specific flowers and others even like to suckle the juices of dead things. The last group may give you pause in terms of attracting them.
Step 3. If you can, plant in or near your garden the plants on which the butterflies prefer to deposit their eggs.
Step 4. Plant nectar rich flowers in your garden that will attract butterflies. You can also buy a butterfly feeder as an additional enticement.
Step 5. Add the following butterfly friendly accessories to your garden.
- A flat rock for butterflies to warm themselves on when mornings are cool.
- A mud hole. You can create this by keeping a small dug out area of your garden moist or using a saucer.
- Possibly a small salt lick (Male butterflies need additional salt)
When the butterflies start frequenting your garden, be sure and have your camera ready so you can capture their beauty to enjoy during the long winter months. Plus, you can send them to us to share with the Spafromscratch community.
Now go have fun and relax.