Butterflies, A Mystical, Magical Little Being

Butterflies, A Mystical, Magical Little Being

Posted by Tammy Sons on Feb 5th 2018

Butterflies are marvelous and magical creatures that can capture a person’s imagination at a very young age. We watch their short and spectacular life cycles with complete fascination, and revel as they sprout their beautiful wings and take to the sky. Butterflies are the perfect garden insects, amicable to plant life while being stunning and unique. Attracting butterflies to your outdoor garden is simple and wildly rewarding. Butterflies loves purple cone flowers and milkweed plants the best of all pollen filled native plants. There's lots of perennial plants butterflies are attracted to also.

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If any insect is spectacular, it is the butterfly. They are so prestigious that most people separate them from their typical image of an insect. These esteemed creatures are the perfect addition to a brimming garden, providing intrigue and applicability. Since butterflies go through two main phases those two different body types are attracted to different types of plants when looking for food. Caterpillars mainly search for leaves, and tend to use the same plants as hosts for their remarkable transformations. Butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers, and help spread pollen from plant to plant like birds and bees. Since all flowers bloom at separate and alternating times it is key to have a wide selection that keeps butterflies coming back regardless of the season. As a precaution, plants with nectar should be positioned near areas that will provide butterflies protection from winds.

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To provide the butterflies with everything they might need, create a small source of sitting water for them to drink. While larger insects and animals require large baths filled to the brim with water, butterflies perfect shallow areas that give them ample resting space to relax their wings as they drink. Small and shallow dishes work best for a tiny butterfly oasis. Cover the base of the dish with sand and then fill with water barely above the level of the sand. The garden should also be a naturally sunny area. Butterflies rely on the sun to warm up their wings for flight.

Since butterflies are in fact insects, using insecticides in your garden will harm them. Oftentimes gardeners can mistake the bite of a caterpillar for that of another insect when it shows up on a plant, but remember you are providing a space for butterflies to grow and must resist the urge to protect your plants with these chemicals.

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As always, one of the biggest components of bringing these dazzling creatures into your backyard space is making sure you pick the right plants for the right job. Caterpillars have certain host plants that they look for more fervently than others. Willow plants are great at concealing the eggs of butterflies and are a tasty treat for caterpillars. This plant is the host to many different species of butterflies, in particular the Dreamy Duskwing, the Red-spotted Purple, and the Mourning Cloak. To attract the legendary Monarch butterfly, plant Milkweed in the garden for them to lay eggs. While these plants are perfect for ‘nesting’ they are not the plants that produce sweet nectar for butterfly consumption. Butterflies are much more picky when it comes to hosting plants than nectar plants.

Most nectar flowers, used by the butterflies as a food source, can feed multiple species of butterflies as opposed to the host plants. There are dozens of flowering plants that are visually stunning, and rich in nutrients for our flying friends. Each of these plants is a nectar-bearing flower that is perfect for a garden attempting to attract butterflies.

Salvias are a common plant almost every gardener should look into, regardless of your affinity to butterflies. These plants have surprisingly long blooming seasons. They come with a numerous selection of colors, and withstand harsher conditions, especially those lacking in an abundance of water. They attract a whole host of butterflies and hummingbirds alike, most recognizably the Giant Swallowtail, the Silver- Spotted Skipper, and the Zebra Longwing.

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Asters are perennials that are marvelous at attracting butterflies, because they serve as nectar and host plants for specific species. They bloom mostly in the later months of the summer season, producing beautiful shades of purple and yellow.

The Butterfly Weed is best at attracting and protecting Monarch butterflies. These plants are also great host plants that repel predators due to the toxic stems. They are bright orange and provide sweet nectar to most of the native American butterflies. These plants will guarantee you butterflies in the garden and offer their own protection, giving the gardener less work to do.

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Similar, but still distinct, the Butterfly Bush is the highest rated plant for attracting all butterflies. It is commonly referred to as Buddleia, and has long lasting bloom cycles of delicate purple flowers. These plants attract more butterflies than any other, and can even serve as a home for a type of butterfly community. Each bush has the capacity to support hundreds of feeding butterflies at a time. If you want to nurture and develop a passion for the fantastic world of butterflies look no further than these plants, and sit back as a buzzing community forms outside your back door.