Saturday, July 13, 2013

How To Attract Butterflies To Your Yard

By Mary Murphy

Want to attract butterflies to your yard? Well, it's probably easier than you think. With the right types of plants and flowers you can invite these creatures into your yard and get them to stay. There are over 13,000 different species of butterflies that we currently know about broken down into family. Riodinidae Butterflies or metalmark display metallic colors such as greens or oranges and come in many sizes. They are also often mistaken for swallowtails. Nymphalidae Butterflies are commonly referred to as brush-foot butterflies to which family the Monarch belongs.

While there are feeders and such that can be used, perhaps the easiest and most common ways to lure butterflies to your property is to use specific flowering plants. While you might find there are plantings that can target specific species, there are also plants that can be used to attract butterflies in general. Adult butterflies can be attracted with colorful flowers such as red, purple and yellow. Some of the most common flowers that work well are butterfly weed and milkweed. These plants grow in many different climates and are often used to attract butterflies to your yard.

Each species of butterfly live in different parts of the world so it makes sense to research which ones live in your specific region. Look on-line or talk to your local garden specialist to learn which are most common and what they prefer to feed on and eat. Getting them to stay requires providing some kind of host plant on which their young can consume. Viceroy butterflies, for example, prefer willows, cottonwood, and aspen trees while monarch butterflies prefer foods like milkweed.

Sunlight is also crucial to attracting butterflies since they feed on nectar in the full sun. Also, many of the plants required to attract them will also require full or partial sun to flower properly. "Try to plant in a sunny part of your yard that at least gets sun during the morning and early afternoon hours," advises Holly Jameson with a Morris Plains landscaping company. You should also avoid the use of pesticides on your newly planted garden as these can easily kill not only the butterflies, but any caterpillars that consume plant matter.

A butterfly garden can be a fun and rewarding project. If researched and executed properly, you can bring these winged creatures to your yard year after year. Do your homework and find out exactly which plants are best suited for your area and how to care for them. Try and pick perennials that will come back every year to reduce maintenance. Not only can you create a beautiful garden area for yourself but attract and feed a wide variety of insect wildlife.

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