Cultivating a special home in your yard for butterflies will introduce your
children to a world of beauty and wonder. It's a project that you and your
family will enjoy in the planting stages, and long after. There are five
basic things to remember when planning a butterfly garden:
1. Butterflies love sunlight! Whether you choose to plant a traditional
garden or a container garden, make sure that the plants are in direct
sunlight for much of the day.
2. Butterflies like to "puddle." Your garden needs a sort of watering hole
for the butterflies to drink from. This can be done by simply filling a terra
cotta pot or small plastic bucket with small rocks or pebbles about two
inches from the brim. Add water to fill the remaining space. Place the puddle
in the center of your garden.
3. Butterflies like lots of color! Group clusters of the same plant together
to make them easier for butterflies to see. A group of colorful flowers
attracts them easier than single flowers.
4. Butterflies love to eat nectar. Use several of these nectar-producing
plants to attract them: milkweed, azalea, goldenrod, black-eyed susan,
zinnia, aster, phlox, Japanese honeysuckle, ironweed. A few nectar-producing
shrubs are: butterfly bush, various fruit trees, privet, lilac and redbud.
5. Butterflies need a place to lay there eggs. Witness the entire lifecycle
of your new garden friend! Provide host plants where female butterflies can
lay their eggs. Some host plants include: snapdragon, violets, milkweed,
daisies, parsley, dill, Queen Anne's Lace, aster and clovers.
About the Author:
Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent: Fun & Fast
Activities for You and Your Little Ones. Visit The Five Minute Parent for fun
rainy-day activities, family links, and a free email newsletter filled with
craft ideas, guest articles, contests and so much more! http://www.fiveminuteparent.