Wild Birds Unlimited – Omaha, NE

May 29, 2013

Create A Garden For The Butterflies

Filed under: Butterfly,Gardening — wbuomaha @ 4:53 pm
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Web Monarch
Gardening for butterflies is a good way to encourage them to visit your yard. To attract them, simply think like a butterfly. As a butterfly, your main concern would be access to the basic habitat components of food, water, and shelter.
Host and nectar plants are essential for butterfly survival. Host plants (plants that eggs are laid upon and later eaten by the caterpillar) appear to be the most important habitat component. Host plants are species-specific and include trees, bushes and many native plants and wildflowers.
Black Swallowtails use Queen Anne’s Lace and herbs such as parsley, fennel, and dill as host plants. Painted Ladies prefer thistle, mallow, or hollyhock.
Monarch Caterpiller
Many host plants also provide nectar. For example, Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants, the larva (or caterpillars) eat the leaves, and adult butterflies use the flowers as a source of nectar.
Nectar, which provides a source of food for the adults, is also important. Butterflies will feed from a variety of flowering plants. They will also feed from nectar feeders filled with a sugar/water
solution of 1 part sugar to 18 parts water. Rotting fruit placed on top of a feeder is very appealing to them. Bananas, pears, and other juicy fruits are favorites. For best results, place your feeder near nectar and host plants.
Water is an essential habitat element. A very shallow pool or a mud puddle will provide a water source attractive to butterflies. Even a moist log will bring a water component to your butterfly garden.
Shelter is another important habitat component. If you look closely, you can often see butterflies roosting in trees, hanging beneath plant leaves and twigs, or even hiding in a garage or shed for shelter from the sun, wind, and other elements. Some species will use a butterfly house placed near nectar and host plants as a source of shelter.
Web Painted Lady

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