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Top Tips for Butterfly Gardens:

  1. Go Native
    Native butterflies evolved alongside our native plants, making certain native plant species the ideal plants to install in your garden. Butterflies need plants that can feed adults as well as species that will feed caterpillars. Caterpillars will feed on the leaves of host plants while adult butterflies will drink nectar from flowers. These plants are not always the same species and different species of butterflies need different host plants.
  2. Diversity is the Spice of Life
    To support butterflies from spring to fall, it is important to have a variety of plant species in your garden. Choose plants that will bloom during different times of year to provide food throughout the active season. Choosing a variety of plants can help support multiple species of butterflies. It is also a good way to guard against disease: if one plant species fall victim to a pest or bad weather conditions, others will continue to supply food and shelter for butterflies.
  1. Here Comes the Sun
    Butterflies rely on the sun for their body heat, opening their wings in the morning to soak up the heat. Butterflies gardens are best in sunny areas.
  2. One Stop Shop
    Butterfly gardens aren’t just about food: it’s about creating a habitat for the animal with food, water, and shelter. Having a water source like a bird bath, fountain, or even just a dish with pebbles and water help butterflies hydrate.
  3. Keep It Clean
    Pesticides don’t discriminate between insects we like and insects we consider pests. To protect butterflies, never spray host plants or nectar species with pesticides and do your best to reduce pesticide use in your garden overall. If you do need to spray pesticides, always follow the directions on the bottle and selectively spray the areas that need it most, rather than spraying everything in your yard.
  4. Stay Engaged
    There’s nothing quite like a butterfly floating on the wind to land on a flower in your garden. Take the time to enjoy the butterfly oasis you’ve created and share your experiences with friends and family. If you want to help scientists study butterflies, you can report your butterfly sightings on iNaturalist or tag monarch butterflies with Monarch Watch.

Love butterflies? Check out our Butterfly Festival on August 21st, 2022 on our events page.

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