5 Tips for Creating a Garden to Attract and Welcome Butterflies

two butterflies on flower - 5 tips to create a butterfly garden

Butterflies are a vital part of any ecosystem, yet despite this their numbers are dwindling around the world thanks to intensive farming, climate change and loss of habitat.

Like any pollinator, butterflies are essential for the production of food crops and for the continuance of many plant species. Their loss, and the reduction of the world’s population of insects as a whole, is threatening to cause serious harm to the natural world.

As such, for eco-conscious homeowners, a butterfly garden is a must. There are various gardening choices you can make to attract butterflies and encourage them to flourish and reproduce, so here are our top 5 tips on how to create a space butterflies will feel at home in.

5. Avoid Using Chemicals

It might sound obvious, but you should avoid using chemicals such as weed killer, fertiliser and plant food if you want to attract butterflies. Insects are very sensitive beings with heightened senses, so they can detect and be repulsed by chemicals. As such, it’s important that you try to use natural fertilisers and remove invasive weeds by hand. Some plants that are considered weeds can actually encourage insects like butterflies, so learn all you can about the plants in your garden and consider letting your garden get a little wild to attract these beautiful creatures.

4. Choose Plants That Butterflies Will Want to Eat and Shelter Under

small butterfly in meadow - 5 tips to create a butterfly garden

When creating a butterfly garden, you should try to provide food and shelter for butterflies throughout every stage of their lives. Caterpillars need different foods than fully-fledged butterflies and they look for shelter in different ways because they don’t yet have their wings. Bushes, grasses and ground plants are ideal for caterpillars, while wildflowers with sweet nectar are great for butterflies.

Work with a professional gardener to create a garden that combines the needs of these majestic insects with the requirements of the plants themselves. If you live in a place like Australia, where the effects of climate change are everywhere apparent, finding highly skilled gardeners (in Australia, or anywhere that experiences challenging growing conditions) is especially important. Professionals can help you to create a healthy, naturally glorious garden that you and local species of butterflies will adore.

3. Incorporate Moisture

Like most living beings, butterflies need moisture to drink and keep themselves cool, particularly in sweltering environments. There are a number of ways you could incorporate a little water into your butterfly garden. You could create a small pond, make some sheltered spaces where water can pool or install and maintain a bird bath, allowing butterflies and other creatures to enjoy a little refreshment when they visit your outdoor paradise.

2. Make Sure Your Garden Gets as Much Sunshine as Possible

Butterflies need to stop in the shade occasionally, but as a general rule, they love basking in the sun. It’s important that you avoid using too many trees and bushes in your garden, as these could produce too much shade and reduce the number of butterflies that visit your space. Instead, try using climbing plants to add height to your garden whilst keeping it bright and airy for your winged friends.

1. Create A Diverse Habitat

You want a variety of different insects, as well as butterflies, to feel welcome in your garden. A diverse habitat will allow you to see even more species of butterfly as well as improve the quality of your soil. Learn about local species of insect in your local area and try to create a garden that will welcome as many tiny creatures as possible, alongside butterflies. This will benefit the environment, as well as helping you to naturally pollinate your plants and keep your garden fresh and vibrant for the future.

Feature image: Pixabay; Image 1: Pok Rie

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