The question: What do I need to plant a butterfly garden?
Small or large, we can do our part in attracting butterflies and bees to our gardens. Containers on the front steps are just as successful as designated butterfly gardens for attracting our insect friends. There are certain things to consider when making a garden specific for butterflies.
- Prepare your soil:
- Many butterfly plants prefer well drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Our Green Earth Compost is a perfect product to amend your soil. It’s made locally and is screened and pulverized. The compost is heated to a minimum of 150 degrees for 21 days killing all weed seeds and pathogens
- Pick a place with a light breeze. Butterflies prefer little to no wind. If your spot is often windy, you may want to plant a windbreak or consider a different location.
- Sun and partial sun. Most butterfly plants prefer full sun, but there’s always need to cool off too. Part of your garden can always be a little shady. Make sure you buy shade-loving plants for those areas.
- Pick your plants for this zone:
- Aster, (Syphyotrichum) large blue flowers are a good nectar source.
- Bee Balm, (Monarda) – A top pick for Swallowtails.
- Butterfly weed, (Asclepias) blooms all summer, perennial
- Cat Mint,(Nepeta) – Great rebloomer that attracts all kinds of pollinators, like all members of the mint family
- Coneflower, (Echinacea)– This perennial can tolerate almost any growing condition and attracts over 30 species of butterflies
- Joe Pye Weed, (Eutrochium), blooms mid to late summer, perennial
- Lantana, (Lantana), blooms June to frost, annual
- Liatris, (Liatris), blooms mid to late summer, perennial
- Phlox, – Great for bees and butterflies, Candy Store series are mildew resistant too
- Black eyed Susan(rudbeckia)- Long blooming nectar source. Did you know the black-eyed Susan has ultraviolet patterns on the petals that only butterflies can see?
- Salvia – many color options, long bloom time, drought tolerant and it attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
- Sedum, Both tall and short varieties serve as nectar and host plants.
- Yarrow, (Achillea) – Not only are the flower clusters good for butterfly gardens, frilly foliage adds nice texture.
- Water your plants well to keep your butterfly garden beautiful. Water 3 to 4 times a week, less if it rains, more if it’s hot.
- Mulch today to keep the weeds away tomorrow.
- Mulching helps the soil retain moisture.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at Christen Farm Nursery to ask more questions.