Butterfly gardening

October 17, 2017

Butterfly gardening is easy and rewarding. All it takes is providing a few simple things that butterflies (and generally speaking all pollinators) need: nectar and host plants,  shelter and water.

Here are a few simple steps to help all the pollinators in your garden:

  1. Do not use pesticides. Organic is the way to go when if you want to create a wildlife habitat of any sort. Organic pesticides still kill, so use judiciously, locally and only if you have a real problem. Nature has a way of sorting itself out and after a year or two of doing things organically, you will notice a balance in your garden that will rarely require your intervention.
  2. Plant nectar and host plants. Choose plants native to the area whenever possible. Here are some sources of information on native and well adapted plants for North Texas : Happy Gardens Plant Library ,  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center , Butterfly Gardening , Texas Native Society , Texas Parks and Wildlife
  3. Choose a sunny spot for your butterfly garden. Butterflies love warm and sunny areas as they are cold blooded and need to be able to warm up.
  4. Provide a source of water. A shallow dish with just barely any water in the bottom and some flat rocks throughout would serve both as water source and a spot where the butterflies can soak in the sun.  You can add over-ripe fruit for their benefit as well.
  5. Choose a somewhat sheltered spot for your butterfly garden to protect them from the wind.
  6. Butterflies prefer plant groupings to singular plants.

And… enjoy! Watching life in the garden is a source of constant joy.

 

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