Gardening Information

Gardening Australia Section


Welcome to Gardening Information

Article

Butterfly Gardening
Jane Lake

Copyright 2005 Jane Lake All Rights Reserved

Butterfly gardening is not only a joy, it is one way that you can help restore declining butterfly populations. Simply adding a few new plants to your backyard may attract dozens of different butterflies, according to landscape designers at the University of Guelph.

Butterflies, like honeybees, are excellent pollinators and will help increase your flower, fruit and vegetable production if you provide them with a variety of flowers and shrubs. They are also beautiful to watch, and are sometimes called "flowers on the wing."

- Begin by seeding part of your yard with a wildflower or butterfly seed mix, available through seed catalogues and garden centers. Wildflowers are a good food source for butterflies and their caterpillars.

- Choose simple flowers over double hybrids. They offer an easy-to-reach nectar source.

- Provide a broad range of flower colors. Some butterflies like oranges, reds and yellows while others are drawn toward white, purple or blue flowers.

- Arrange wildflowers and cultivated plants in clumps to make it easier for butterflies to identify them as a source of nectar.

- If caterpillars are destroying favorite plants, transfer them by hand to another food source. Avoid the use of pesticides, which can kill butterflies and other beneficial insects.

- Some common caterpillar food sources are asters, borage, chickweed, clover, crabgrass, hollyhocks, lupines, mallows, marigold, milkweed or butterfly weed, nasturtium, parsley,
pearly everlasting, ragweed, spicebush, thistle, violets and wisteria. Caterpillars also thrive on trees such as ash, birch, black locust, elm and oak.

- Annual nectar plants include ageratum, alyssum, candy tuft, dill, cosmos, pinks, pin cushion flower, verbena and zinnia.

- Common perennial nectar plants include chives, onions, pearly
everlasting, chamomile, butterfly weed, milkweeds, daisies, thistles, purple coneflower, sea holly, blanket flower,
lavender, marjoram, mints, moss phlox, sage, stonecrops, goldenrod, dandelion and valerian.

Remember that butterflies are cold-blooded insects that bask in the sun to warm their wings for flight and to orient themselves. They also need shelter from the wind, a source of
water, and partly shady areas provided by trees and shrubs.


About the Author

Jane Lake's work has appeared in Canadian Living, You and Modern Woman magazines. To make your own butterfly feeders, read her article, Butterfly Food or visit her Nature Crafts section for more nature articles, including how to make nectar for hummingbirds, plus more on butterfly gardens.



Gardening Australia Best products


Gardening Australia News

gardening australia

‘Hornung comes, does it not, to chasten us, to burn our souls and lay bare our sins … We squint in the white light of Hornung, dazed … Blaze when Hornung blazes upon you!” If that sounds like a blazing blurb for Eva Hornung’s new novel, The Last ...

Read more


Eva Hornung’s Last Garden melds religion with tragedy in South Australia

Labor and Tourism Australia were yesterday calling for action. And Tourism and Transport Forum boss Margy ­Osmond said Garden Island was “the only deepwater option in the city which is able to accommodate growth”. Cunard’s Queen Victoria liner ...

Read more


Garden Island the key to Sydney’s cruise crisis, says Port Minister Melinda Pavety

Police believe he was driven to his sister-in-law Samantha Burtt's address and dumped in the garden. His devastated mother Christine Ewart, 51, and sister Kendelle, 25, arrived in Australia on April 14 and have spent the last week in a bedside vigil while ...

Read more


Family's horror after British father dumped and 'left for dead' in Australian garden

About eight or nine years ago, garden centres in the United Kingdom, Australia and Europe noticed a rapid increase in vegetable seed sales. What had happened, he said, was that millennials were driving this increase in demand because they wanted to be able ...

Read more


Meet Brian Minter, The Vancouver Sun's newest gardening columnist

I have come all the way to Australia but wonder what I am doing here ... a man and a woman driving a blue Holden saloon in the hours before he was found in the garden of his sister in law Samantha Burt. 'Before he was left in the garden, he went into ...

Read more


Mother of British man who was left for dead with severe head injuries in an Australian garden insists police claim that he jumped from a moving car 'doesn't fit'

Cricket Australia has growing concerns players are being "led up the garden path" in their pay fight and has declared it won't back down on plans to slash the revenue-share model. In response to a Fairfax Media report on Sunday where it emerged players ...

Read more


Australian cricketers 'led up the garden path' in pay fight

The garden was designed by one of Australia’s most influential landscape designers, Edna Walling, but is now synonymous with gardener Michael Morrison. Michael began working for Dame Elisabeth in 1971 and together they created what is now recognised as ...

Read more


Cruden Farm Garden Diaries, by Michael Morrison and Lisa Clausen, Lantern, RRP: $49.99

Are you thinking a lot about plants and gardening at moment" How about fresh flowers" Well ... this modern single family home is located in Fitzroy North, Victoria, Australia. ... This contemporary apartment located in Sofia, Bulgaria, was designed ...

Read more


Garden & Home Blog Awards In Berlin

Another stalwart, the Seasonal Garden Café, in tourist hub Hahndorf ... and produce tastings while providing an outlet for local art through its gallery. Virgin Australia flies to Adelaide from all major Australian cities. Most major hire car companies ...

Read more


South Australia: What's new in the Adelaide Hills

Read more