The presence of butterflies in the garden adds beauty and lushness to a garden full of flowers. Moreover, it turns out that the presence of butterfly is harmless to the plants. They are even helpful in the flower pollination and fruit production process. So, what should we do to attract butterflies to our garden?
There are four basic things important to note about the growth of butterflies, i.e. food, shelter, water, and sunlight. Therefore, a butterfly garden can be created by presenting those four things. As a food source, butterflies look for two things from a plant; the main crop for the caterpillar stage and nectar for the adult stage.
The following are some plants you can bring to your garden to invite more butterflies.
- Lonicera nudiflorum
- Lagerstromia indica
- Mimosa, Albizia julibrissin
- Impatiens balsamina
- Sunflower, Helianthus angustifolius
- Cleome, Cleome hasslerana
- Echinacea purpurea
- Cosmos, Cosmos bipinnatus
- Mirabillis jalapa
- Hibiscus spp
- Lantana camara
- Marigold, Tagetes erecta and Tagetes patula
- Pentas lanceolata
- And others.
Types of conifers (needle -leaved trees) and plant species that live year-round are the best cover crops to choose. They are very useful for the butterflies when facing the threat of predators and bad weather. They can be a good a place to rest and nest during the metamorphosis process.
The availability of sunlight is very helpful for the life of a butterfly. Butterflies require enough sunlight in the morning or afternoon to warm their body. In addition, adequate sunlight can also be helpful in the process of flowering in a plant.
The availability of water is the last requirement. The nature of some of the butterflies that cannot consume water directly from the source can be dealt by providing a pool or a box containing sand and water or wet soil/mud in an enough shady place near the cover plants.
Butterflies will actively feed during the day, and they like a daisy type flower, such as Lantana flowers, Aster and others. The petals can be used as a foothold when sucking the nectar of the flowers. By late afternoon, generally white or pale-colored flowers become their choice. Besides the color, the scent of flowers should be considered when choosing the type of flowers for creating a butterfly garden.
Butterflies will not approach the type of cut flowers that are often given chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Besides being able to kill the caterpillar, chemical ingredients can also be toxic to butterflies. So, the more natural your garden is, the more butterflies will come.
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