Monday, July 27, 2009

Creating a Butterfly Garden

I always look forward to participating in Blue Mondays, which is so graciously hosted by Sally at Smiling Sally.

Today I'd like to share this pretty blue blown glass butterfly feeder I found at a specialty gardening shop in Jackson. After trying it in several places, I finally settled on a spot close to the waterfall in our courtyard.

The information on the tag suggested filling the tube part of the flower with the same kind of nectar you put in hummingbird feeders [one-fourth cup sugar to one cup water], which I did.

Then, I googled "how to attract butterflies" and found the following information.

  • Plant good nectar sources in the sun. Your key butterfly nectar source plants should receive full sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Butterfly adults generally feed only in the sun.

  • Provide a place for butterflies to rest. Butterflies need sun for orientation and to warm their wings for flight. Place flat stones in your garden to provide space for butterflies to rest and bask in the sun.

  • Give them a place for puddling. Butterflies often congregate on wet sand and mud to partake in "puddling," drinking water and extracting minerals from damp puddles. Place coarse sand in a shallow pan and then insert the pan in the soil of your habitat. Make sure to keep the sand moist.

  • Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered, and have short flower tubes.

Flowers and plants that attract butterflies:

Milkweed, arabis, black-eyed susan, purple coneflower, hollyhocks, sweet william, white and purple alyssum, cosmos, lantana, coreopsis, phlox, daisies, catnip, asters, stocks, zinnias, yarrow, lavender, rosemary, thyme, candytuft, and verbena.

Good choices for shrubs and small trees include the butterfly bush, common lilac, mock orange, beauty bush, blackberry, honeysuckle, hawthorn, weigela, sumac, rose of Sharon, spirea, and privet.

If you love butterflies and would like to attract them to your yard, I hope you find this information useful. I'm looking forward to capturing some butterflies with my camera while they dine on nectar from my little feeder, flitter amongst the lantana and butterfly bush, drink from our waterfall, and bask in the sun on our rocks. I'll let you know if it works!


Barbara said...

Janie, I live butterflies and are never really successful at attracting enough of them. Thanks for the instructions. Love the picture on your header.

Hope all is well with you.

Purple hugs,

Mary Bergfeld said...

I do hope you'll share your photos of butterflies at the feed as you take the. This was really interesting and I want to thank you for sharing the information with us.

Stacey said...

Janie, your banner is just beautiful. The combination of lantana and the butterfly is breath-taking! Thanks for the great information.

SmilingSally said...

LOL I am probably the only person who hates butterflies! I'm actually afraid of them. I think it's because I had a cousin who thought that it was great fun to catch one and stick it down my shirt when I was 13. YUK! However, the feeder is quite pretty. Thanks for sharing. Happy Blue Monday.

GingerV said...

I printed How to attract butterflies and will see how much I can apply in out garden....thank you

Knitty said...

Thank you for that information! I was in a casino recently, not something I really enjoy as money disappears too quickly, but was delighted to see a butterfly had gotten in. The startled looks of people as the butterfly flitted past was priceless.

Sharlotte said...

Thanks for the tips...We have only a few butterflies fluttering around. I'll try this and see if I'm successful in attracting others!

Enjoy your Monday.

racheld said...


Your new header-picture is just charming and delightful---almost a tear or two's worth, in its perfect beauty.

I love the instructions and hope my two new butterfly bushes, still small but blooming their hearts out, will attract visitors as lovely as yours.

Lisa said...

Your butterfly feeder is lovely! Thanks for the list of flowers that attract butterflies. Some of them were new to me!

Salmagundi said...

Very good information. I need to find some flat rocks and a puddling place. Thanks for the inspiration. Sally

LV said...

Thanks for sharing this good information. I wish we had more around here as I truly enjoy seeing their amazing beauty.

bj said...

I love the feeder and all the info you shared. I love butterflies and always seem to have a few around my flowers. Now, I know what I might do to have more. Thanks so much..

Unknown said...

I L-o-V-e your's stunning!

Thanks for the wonderful post...very useful! I have a few things to add to my garden to get the butterfly's to notice my garden.

CailinMarie said...

oh how intersting! I never knew that the butterflies liked the sun! I just htought that was were the flowers grew so naturally the butterflies followed!!!
What a fun post!
Hope you'll be able to stop by and enter a giveaway! thanks!

Tonja said...

What a great new header! Love it! Your pics get better and better all the time. And, a precious feeded! I bet it would look so lovely in the garden. Aren't butterflys the most delicate little creatures. There is a butterfly enclosure at Callaway Gardens near Atlanta. It is amazing to just go in and sit and be surrounded by so many of these beautiful creatures.

Barnyard Country Gifts said...

Beautiful butterfly feeder. We have a lot of butterfly in our garden at this time.
Have a nice day, Annemieke

Unknown said...

The butterfly feeder is so pretty...and thanks for the information on attracting butterflies!
:) Diane

ellen b. said...

That is so pretty! I hope it attracts some butterflies!

Regina said...

Beautiful blue. Great post.

Sue said...

I hope all of your efforts will yield you many butterflies in your garden. Beautiful photo for your header, Janie.
:-) sue