Make a Butterfly Garden: Features That Attract Butterflies

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If you hope to be attracting butterflies to your garden this summer, be sure to include these simple details. They are the key to a successful butterfly garden.

monarch butterfly on milkweed

There are certain plants and flowers that attract butterflies because they are a food source for the adult butterflies or their young, but these beautiful insects also have other needs. Butterfly gardening includes providing water, supplemental food and a place to rest.

So in your butterfly garden include the following:

  • A mud puddle. You can build this by scraping away mulch in a small spot, creating a shallow divot in the soil and keeping it moist. Alternatively, fill saucers with sand and keep them wet. Butterflies will use these shallow puddles as drinking stations. They also like to sip muddy water because it supplies them with minerals they need.
  • To further supply minerals and other nutrients, you can offer butterflies bananas and other pieces of fruit. Some garden centers sell butterfly feeders, just as they sell hummingbird feeders. Male butterflies need sodium in mating season, and some gardeners include salt blocks in their butterfly garden to attract them.
  • Butterflies can't fly cold. They bask in the sun to warm up. To help them, include flat rocks in the sunniest spots of your butterfly garden. The butterflies will rest there with their wings open, soaking up the warmth of the sun.

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