Backyard Landscaping for Butterflies
- List of Best Plants to attract butterflies

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Landscaping for Butterflies:

At first I didn't landscape for Butterflies. I just planted what I like and then the Butterflies, Dragonflies and Hummingbirds started showing up. Then I started to plant those flowers that were attracting Butterflies closer to our seating area and now I'm landscaping for butterflies.

Butterfly Gardening the Easy Way

I don't over think this. Every Butterfly has four life stages:

  1. eggs
  2. caterpillar
  3. chrysalis
  4. adult

So I plant nectar rich flowers to entice the adult Butterflies to stay a while and raise their families.
When I see a chrysalis hanging from a leaf or stem like a precious gem, it makes me smile.

How do you landscape a Butterfly garden:

First I plant the flowers that I like and then I look for rich nectar plants to attract different species of Butterflies.

What are the best plants for Butterflies

I have some perennial and self-seeds in my garden like: hollyhocks, cosmos, sunflowers, milkweed, clover, lavender, fall asters and zinnias. Some butterflies are specific where they lay their eggs, because that's what their caterpillars will eat. Monarch Butterflies will lay their eggs on Milkweed.
Black Swallowtails will lay their eggs on parsley and dill. My Parsley and Dill was cover in caterpillars one year.
The cabbage butterfly will go for plants of the cabbage family.
Painted Lady butterflies prefer plants in the daisy family including zinnias.

What time of day are Butterflies most active:

I find that Butterflies are most active during mid day when the sun is warm and bright.
This makes it challenging for taking pictures.

The best Butterfly plants and trees to attract Butterflies

Purple flowering Butterfly bush, clover, queen-anne's lace, parsley and dill, hollyhocks, milk weed, asters, daisies, purple coneflower, sunflowers, lavenders, sweet alyssum, phlox, goldenrod, french marigolds, thymes, zinnias, honeysuckles, sumacs, willows, basswood and blueberries . Most of these flowers will also attract Hummingbirds.

The difference between a Butterfly and a Moth?

If they sit still long enough:

  1. Butterflies only come out to eat during the day - Moths at Night
  2. Butterflies have thread like antennae with knobs at the tips - Moths antennae are feathery or pointed thread like.
  3. Butterflies have long slender bodies - Moths have large bodies that are thick and short
  4. Butterflies rest their wings straight up over their backs - Moths hold their wings flat at their sides or they fold them over their bodies

This is hard to tell, because these jewels of the garden fly around so fast. I do take a peek at their antennae and their bodies as they wiz by.

2 Kinds of Butterflies according to World Book Encyclopedia

  1. Skippers - 225 Species in North America
  2. True Butterflies - about 475 Species in North America.

Skippers

No one Knows how Skippers got their name.
They look more like a Moth. They have stout bodies and their antennae tapers to a point like a Moth. Sometimes the tips can form a hook. To me they look like a colourful Moth. :)


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