Butterflies make people happy. We can learn how to attract butterflies to our yard.
We will have happy butterflies in our yard, when they have food, sun, shelter, shade, water and caterpillar host plants.
Butterflies are also attracted to bright colored flowers such as yellow, orange, red, pink and purples.
The best way to attract the butterflies is with food. Butterflies are just like us, they have to eat.
Butterflies eat flower nectar.
Butterflies feed from short flowers. They can't reach deep into a long tubular flower like the hummingbirds.
Butterflies like to have flowers where they can land, so they can feed sitting down.
Daisies or a flat cluster of small flowers give the butterflies a place to land, as well as lots of butterfly food.
Most butterflies eat flower nectar, but the Zebra Longwings and a few other butterflies eat pollen.
The very best way to attract butterflies is to provide the flowers they like!
Butterflies need flowers spring, summer and fall. Plan on having your flowers blooming throughout the seasons for a continuous supply of butterfly food.
Plant some butterfly flowers.
Butterfly houses were popular a few years ago. But there are other ways to make the butterflies happy in our yard.
Butterflies enjoy cut fruit such as oranges, mangoes and watermelon.
If you have any old fruit, they would
enjoy them also. So if the bananas start attracting fruit flies, put them out for the butterflies.
Many of our regular landscape plants attract butterflies. Common Lilac bushes in the north and in the south the Crape Myrtle tree are both enjoyed by beautiful butterflies.
No matter where we live, we can use Daylilies, Sedum, Sweet Alyssum, Sunflowers, Lavender and Azaleas.
Butterflies also feed from our vegetable gardens and wildflowers.
Wild plants provide food and cover for the butterflies and their caterpillars.
Plants need pollinators and the
butterflies need plants for nectar, pollen and caterpillar food. Many of our
native plants and butterflies depend on each other.
Butterflies don't have the capability of warming their own bodies.
Butterflies need the sun to stay warm. They especially have to warm up in the mornings. In the morning they like to sit on a rock to absorb the sun’s warmth.
Provide some level places in the sun for the butterflies to warm themselves.
Mix a flat rock or two into the butterfly garden where the butterflies can land and sit to warm up.
Butterflies need some shade and protection from bad weather. Most of us probably already have shelter in our yards with trees, shrubs, or hedges.
Butterflies use shade to cool themselves down from the hot summer sun.
Butterflies don’t drink out of open water. They drink from shallow water or moist soil.
We see butterflies drinking on the edges of a pond where the soil is wet. This is called puddling.
Don’t have a pond? Dampen a spot of soil for the butterflies to puddle. Fill a potted plant saucer with sand and keep it damp for the butterflies.
Another great way of how to attract butterflies is to give them a place to lay their eggs.
Butterflies like to lay their eggs on plants their caterpillars will eat. So when we have caterpillar host plants in our garden, the butterflies will come.
After the caterpillars metamorphosize into a butterfly, they can feed from the nectar flowers.
Check with your local extension service to find out what butterflies are native to your area. They can tell you which host plants are good for the local caterpillars.
Many native plants are also food sources for caterpillars.
Pesticides are not how to attract butterflies. So we don't use any pesticides in our
With these few simple steps we can attract more butterflies to our gardens.