Tips How To Create a Butterfly garden

SamWrightFebruary 1, 2013

I have been to butterfly garden several times. I just wondering if how can I create one as my backyard has lots of space. Will anybody give me some tips how to get it started like what types of flowers should I plant? What accessories should I put so that the butterfly will stay. Will I wait them to come to my garden or should I buy them? Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!


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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Sam, this is a topic that has been covered many times on the forum, so there is a wealth of information in the FAQs. I'd start by reading through all the data that has been compiled by the members, and then you may have some specific questions that can easily be addressed. Also there are lots of websites on butterfly gardening. And you will want to check out local groups/nurseries, etc. BF gardens need to be planted for the species in your area. Hope this helps get you started. Butterfly gardening is addicting!

I am getting ready to plant my fourth butterfly garden; two at two separate houses, one Monarch Waystation at a school, and the new one on land that I am purchasing. Monarch Watch is a good website to visit. Just google them. I've been a Monarch Waystation for years.

Others will jump in and respond--so you will have lots of support.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 7:51AM
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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

Below is the link to the FAQ in case you didn't see the link on the main page, as it is easy to overlook. It covers the basics. The most important points being to provide flowers for nectar, host plants for the caterpillars to eat, and to not kill them by using chemicals in your garden. Beyond that you can look into providing food like fermenting fruit for butterflies that don't typically go to flowers. There is also plenty of info in the faq about raising butterflies yourself by collecting eggs/ caterpillars or simply providing them with some protection from predators. I personally would never buy butterflies because you can attract them naturally just about anywhere. If you are somewhere where they aren't found naturally then you certainly shouldn't introduce them by buying them.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 11:27AM
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I highly recommend planting Verbena bonariensis and Purple Coneflower for nectar plants. Lots of different butterflies love to feed from them. I also get many butterflies on my butterfly bushes, but I deadhead them because they can be invasive. People on here have mentioned buttonbush as being a good nectar plant too, although I don't have any.

Besides nectaring, butterflies also have to look for places to lay their eggs, so I provide many different types of host plants for butterflies. I started out my first year with planting milkweed for the Monarchs. Rather than list a lot of plants here, I'll include a link to a website that you can go to and read about how to start a butterfly garden.

Best of luck with your butterfly garden, and if you can think of any specific questions, just ask and I'm sure someone will answer you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterfly Gardening

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:48PM
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Sam is said to live in Australia, according to the "My Page".

So the basics still apply, but the plant list will be different.

If by "accessories" you mean structures like butterfly houses, you do not need those. small puddles that create wet surfaces, feeders, etc. are better.

You could buy butterflies, but after the first day, it is more likely that other butterflies that wander in would be the ones you see and the bought ones would wander away.

How many butterflies do you typically see in your neighborhood?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Hi everybody!

I'm sorry I've never been to FAQ page. My bad. I should have read more from this forum. But thanks for all of your responses.I will follow your advices and research some more. I can see lots of butterflies in my neighborhood. That's why I am also encourage to have inside the vicinity of my residence.

Once again thanks!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:09AM
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Gretchen Wood

I have in my front yard several butterfly bushes & I also have rooted them in the past & will be doing more rooting soon. The butterflies like this and also milkweed & Bumble Bee Lavender. In butterfly gardens I have seen plates with orange & apple slices in various places in the garden. They go for that as well. The more plants you put out to attract these wonderful creatures they will be sure to stay more in your yard. Good Luck

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:55AM
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I have lots of Milkweed, lots of Pearly Everlasting and Pussytoes (Antennaria) and three Butterfly bushes. Also, I incorporate some nettles in out of the way, moist places and lots of coneflowers.
Liatris and Agastasche , along with Tithonia, provide lots of nectar.
Bee Balm also brings the hummers and Hummingbird Moth.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 3:27AM
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joraines(7 Upstate SC)

In my butterfly garden, I have some herbs as well as nectar plants like butterfly bush, coneflowers, salvia and others. My bronze fennel usually has swallowtail caterpillars on it all summer long and looks like a bronzey billowy cloud in the garden. You might want to find out what herbs your butterfly caterplillars feed on 'down there'. Good luck. I enjoy my butterfly garden immensely.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 7:36PM
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