Starting a Butterfly Garden

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A presentation with photos sharing how to start a butterfly garden. Given to a local gardening group in Virginia in April, 2013. (Gardening is my and writing, my business!)

Text of Starting a Butterfly Garden

  • 1. Starting a ButterflyGardenJeanne Grunert

2. What Is a ButterflyGarden? Garden planted to attract butterflies (and moths) Includes plants for shelter, nectar and host Can be part of a complete backyard wildlife habit that includes plants to attract birds and other wildlife 3. Why Create a ButterflyGarden? Beauty and enjoyment Great gardening activity for children Diminishing natural habitats for butterflies and moths Most plants are low maintenance, drought tolerant, beautiful Attracts pollinators 4. Butterfly Garden Design &Care Full sun to part shade Garden size Container butterfly garden Small garden Large garden Include screening plants or site near something that keeps wind from butterflies Choose perennial plants that bloom spring through fall for continuous color; include annuals Group plants together by color; masses of the same color or tone tends to attract more butterflies Native plants support local butterfly species Avoid use of pesticides Place garden near the home (or include a bench in the design) so you can enjoy the butterflies! 5. Water Sources Mud Puddles - Water sources are optional, but probably appreciated by butterflies Many butterflies like to drink from salty mud puddles. You can see them on damp rocks, gravel or sand. Create a mud puddle by digging a shallow depression and lining it gravel. Commercial butterfly puddle bowls feature a shallow cement bowl with pebbles just add water. You can also use an old bird bath top if the base breaks. A birdbath is fine, but the birds will use it more than the butterflies. 6. Plants for the Garden Shelter Butterflies dislike high winds and seek shelter on windy days. Including plants for shelter such as Buddleia (butterfly bush) provides both food and shelter. Nectar Nectar producing plants are typically flowering perennials and annuals Native plants are especially beneficial Host plants Provide food for larvae 7. Host Plants Each butterfly species seeks a specific host plant Include a variety to benefit more butterflies Common host (larvae) plants include: Parsley (Eastern Black Swallowtail) Violets (Great Spangled Fritillary Dogwoods, virburnum (Spring Azure) Milkweed (also a nectar plant) (Monarch) Nettles (Comma, Red Admiral) Dill, mint 8. Shelter and Nectar Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) Prolific seeder (deadhead if you dont want seeds) Easy care, cut back in fall 10-15 feet tall White, lavender, purple, dark purple, bicolor 9. Nectar Plants: Purple andBlue FlowersNepeta (Cat Mint) and SalviaMay NightLavender HidcoteCentaurea cyanus (Cornflower,Bachelors Buttons)Phlox subulata 10. Nectar Plants: Orange andYellow Coreopsis and marigolds (above) Lantana (above right) Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan) Gaillardia 11. Nectar Plants: Pink 12. Examples of OtherButterfly Garden Plants New England Aster Coreopsis major Bee Balm (Monarda Joe Pye Weed didyma)(Eupatorium maculatum) Black-eyed Susan Maximillians Sunflowers (Rudbeckia hirta ) (Helianthus maximilianii ) Cardinal Flower (Lobelia Phlox (Phlox subulata) cardinalis ) Purple Coneflower Butterfly weed (Echinacea purpurea ) (Asclepius tuberosa ) Common violet Virginia Bluebell Yarrow Daylilies 13. A Simple Plan Butterfly Perennials -ButterflyBushSalvia, daylilies,Bushnepeta Zinnia ZinniaAnnual border sweet alyssum, marigolds, petunias 14. My Butterfly GardenStarted 2008Sloping ground,, highly acidicsoil, clay, full sun to part shadeWe used a kit of plants from anursery catalog. Came withstarter plants and a garden plan.Sort of like paint by numbersgardening.Major plants:AchilleaButterfly bushCardinal flowerCatmintColumbineLantanaMarigoldsMonardaSalviaZinnias 15. For More Information Virginia Cooperative Extension Wildlife Habitats: 070/426-070.html Colorado Extension Attracting Butterflies to the Garden: .html Ohio Cooperative Extension Butterfly Gardens (with extensive plant list): 16. Credits and Copyright Presentation and all photographs were created by Jeanne Grunert. Copyright 2013 by Jeanne Grunert. Shared under the following terms: No commercial use No modifications permitted Please credit Jeanne Grunert and link to: License details: Please contact me for any questions or other permission requests. I can be reached by email at 17. Thank you!My Gardening Blog