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Butterfly Garden

 Butterfly Garden: How You Attract Butterflies

Can someone tell me what is more pleasant than seeing a butterfly land on a flower near you?  Anything at all?  

Attracting butterflies to where you live is an enjoyable part of the summer.  Whether attracting them to your home and garden in the suburbs or in the country -or, if you live in the city -you can do it if armed with a little knowledge about what butterflies are seeking.  

The Golden Rule for attracting butterflies: Find out what they want and give it to them.

Butterflies feed on native plants.  Often their only source of food are these native plants.  Key among them is the Aster family which includes these plants for butterflies:

  • Black Eyed Susan
  • Bee Balm
  • Sunflower
  • Blazing Star
  • Coneflower

Butterflies also like Sneezeweed, Oxeye Sunflower and some non-Aster plants like Mountain Mints.  These plants attract a variety of butterfly species including:

  • Swallowtail
  • Zebra Swallowtail
  • Black Swallowtail
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Monarch
  • Viceroy

As butterflies go through different stages of their life, their interaction with with plants varies.  For example, they may lay their eggs on one kind of plant, as caterpillars, feed on another type plant and as adults, yet another.  So, having a range of plants is good.  A case in point -Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed and feed on them as larvae.  Adults feed on a wide range of plants.  They love the Blazing Star.

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Containers Will Work

Your Butterfly Garden can consist of a few containers.  You don’t need a large yard or garden to attract butterflies.  One only needs to know the plants that attract butterflies, as

Karner Blue Butterfly Garden

Karner Blue Butterfly

many of the preferred plants can be grown in containers anywhere in the city or suburb.  To do so creates an urban ‘butterfly oasis’ in an otherwise desolate landscape in terms of food.  Butterflies do pass through urban areas.

One of the best things you can do ecologically is to provide a ‘stopping spot’ for butterflies and other insects to feed along their way in an urban area. This is consistent with the ‘Green’ environmental movement.  Not only do we create something beneficial for the butterflies -we get a benefit from it as well.  We get all the beauty.

To attract butterflies you don’t need a big meadow.  You can do it with containers (i.e. flowers in pots or flower boxes -container gardening) and the butterflies will come.

Do you have any thoughts on or experience with this? If so, why not share them by commenting below.  Also, if you like this, please share it on Facebook or another social media -buttons are at top and bottom of page.  We do appreciate it.  As always, thanks for coming by.

Some other interesting butterfly information:

Adirondack Butterflies

Monarch Watch

Butterfly wiki



What do butterflies eat?

Caterpillars and Butterflies

Plants for Butterflies

Plants that attract butterflies


Butterfly Species – Massachusetts

Butterfly Gardening

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