When you plant a butterfly garden in Florida, you’ll have 12 months to enjoy their activity in your backyard. There are many different types of plants that you can include in your butterfly garden. These are plants that give sources of nectar for butterflies and food for caterpillars. By including the plants that the USDA lists on their hardiness zone map, you’ll have a luscious yard that butterflies will want to take up residence. It also helps restore the habitat that butterflies lost due to human development. Here, in these areas butterflies thrive and grow.
Plants for Your Butterfly Garden
You’ll need a mixture of plants placed in sunny areas around your home. These include:
- Host plants are those that butterfly caterpillars eat quickly. A good one is the milkweed plant. Larval foods are necessary for caterpillars. The type you plant depends upon what kind of butterflies you wish to attract. Oftentimes these are either plain-looking plants or ones that will soon become unattractive because they’re eaten quickly. Therefore, you’ll want to plant them somewhere out-of-the-way or intersperse them in between other plants.
- Nectar plants are necessary for adult butterflies. They have sweet, pungent and acrid smells to their flowers, which are orange, yellow, pink, purple or red. Oftentimes they also have deep throats, and their flowers either droop or are enclosed. Some of them, especially those you smell more at night, also attract moths.
Accessorizing Your Butterfly Garden
There are accessories that you can also add to your butterfly garden, like a butterfly house. These are similar to a birdhouse, but their slots are ideal for keeping the birds out to protect the butterflies and shelter them from the wind and weather. Besides keeping butterflies in your garden longer, they’re also a beautiful garden decoration.
You can also add a butterfly feeder, which will both attract and feed different types of butterflies. These hold nectar or fruits and are either hung from a post or mounted on top of one. They work best in a shady section of your garden though. When choosing butterfly food, understand that it’s specially formulated by biologists to attract butterflies.
It’s also important to have a shallow-water source available for your male butterflies to drink from. They need the salt in the water to help with their fertility. You can create one from a low-water dish on the ground that’s filled with sand and a couple of small rocks or twigs for the butterflies to land on while drinking. Make sure that the water only covers the sand though.
Have Fun With Your Butterfly Garden
Serious butterfly gardening is both an art and a science. There are a lot of things you’ll need to consider before planting it. By taking the time to study up on butterflies and their needs, you will succeed. Of course, there will always be more plants and accessories to add as you continue studying butterflies, but starting small then growing big is a really good thing.
R & R Sprinkler & Landscape
931 SE 11th Avenue
Cape Coral, FL 33990