Make Your Backyard A Butterfly Haven
There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in a chair or swing on your patio, deck, or porch and watching butterflies make a graceful trip around your yard. Even in today’s hectic times, all “seems at peace and as the Lord intended”, as a butterfly pauses to sip some nectar or relax on a warm rock. In this pamphlet we’ll discuss ways to encourage butterflies to visit and stay with you!!
Without a doubt, the number one thing you have to do is quit using chemical pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides.
One thing people often forget is it’s important to provide “Host Plants”, not just nectar sources. By providing host plants, you can watch the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into an adult butterfly. Besides host plants, of course, you need nectar plants that bloom from the start of the season to late summer and fall.
Remember to provide butterflies a place to warm in the sun. Build a bath waterer as described on the back panel. Also put out slices of banana-Fruit flies come to the banana and butterflies consume them for protein and minerals. Put out a slice of watermelon or overly ripe fruit, and you’ll be amazed at all the butterflies that stop by for a light lunch of “Fruit Plate!!!
Most Common Butterfly Families You Can Attract
- Swallowtails (Papilionidae)-The most noticeable thing about Swallowtails is a club-like projection extending from the hind wing. The most common Swallowtails include: Easter Tiger, Giant, Spicebush, Eastern Black and Zebra.
- Milkweed Butterfly (Daneidae)-These medium to large size butterflies are all power flyers, and all eat various types of Milkweed. The most common is the Monarch. The Monarch imitators include: Viceroy, Fritillaries, Mourning Cloaks, and Admirals.
- Gossamer Wings (Lycaenidae)-Over 100 species of these small butterflies reside in North America. They include the Blues, Coppers, and Hairstreaks. The Gossamers hold their wings closed over their backs when at rest.
- Sulphurs (Pieridae)-The Sulphurs are hard to miss because of their brilliant yellows.
- Whites (Pieridae)-Whites are often the first butterflies to be noticed in the spring. Many people assume they are moths, due to their lack of color. Male “Whites” and “Sulphurs” are prone to “puddling”, which is gathering in groups near moisture and/or salts.
- True Skippers (Hesperiidae)-They are small butterflies that are not particularly attractive, and contain antennae with a telltale fishhook like curve to the end section. Their flight resembles a stone skipping across the surface of a lake.
Attract Butterflies With A Waterless Pond
Arrange heat-absorbing rocks on their side in a sunny area, add sand and salts, and keep moist to further attract butterflies. Line area with plastic to keep salts from leaking into the soil.
The Key to Attracting Butterflies is to Provide Both nectar and Host Plants
|Butterfly || Host Plant|
|Black Swallowtail||Carrot, Dill, Fennel, Parsley|
|Great Spangled Fritillary||Violet|
|Pipevine Swallowtail||Pipevine (Calico Pipe, Dutchman’s Pipe, Rooster Flower, Virginia Snakeroot)|
|Red-Spotted Purple||Wild Cherry, Willow|
|Spicebush Swallowtail||Sassafras, Spicebush|
|Viceroy||Cherry, Plum, Poplar, Willow|
|Native Nectar Plants|
|Wild Columbine |
Lance Leaf Coreoposis
Swamp & Whorled Milkweed
New England Aster
Orange, Purple Missouri and Sweet Coneflowers
Prairie Blazing Star
Joe Pye Weed