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Attracting Butterflies

Melissa Dunlap is a writer, editor and blogger specializing in lifestyle communications. Fueled by curiosity, and a tad too much coffee, Melissa enjoys dissecting current trends for the modern woman. When she's not having dance parties w...

Plant butterfly- and caterpillar-friendly plants in your garden to attract these pretty insects.

Butterflies are as beautiful and delicate as the flowers in your flower garden. Mesmerizing for old and young alike, butterflies will visit the pretty flowers in your garden, but you can have even better luck attracting them for the long-term by providing a lifestyle.


Butterflies are as beautiful and delicate as the flowers in your flower garden. Mesmerizing for old and young alike, butterflies will visit the pretty flowers in your garden, but you can have even better luck attracting them for the long-term by providing a lifestyle.

Attracting butterflies requires including garden plants that provide for each stage of the butterfly's life, from caterpillar to cocoon and beyond. The basic requirements for butterfly life are a place to eat, a place to drink and a place to rest.

For the most part, adult butterflies feed on nectar, and they prefer native plants---especially flowers that are bright colors, like red, orange and yellow, and like hummingbirds, they like small flower clusters or tubed-flowers. Caterpillars eat leaves, but they're usually not into eating vegetable leaves. Monarch butterfly larvae, for example  prefers milkweed plants.  When you include good caterpillar food sources in addition to the flowers adult butterflies love, they will be more likely to lay eggs.

Butterflies enjoy drinking mineral water, but not the same way we do. Their preference is is sandy puddles, so place some shallow dishes filled with water and sand in the garden. As far as giving them a place to rest, flat stones will do just the trick, especially in a sunny location.

Attracting butterflies to the garden doesn't only give you another pretty thing to look at, butterflies will also help with pollination.
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