Butterfly Garden

Creating a butterfly garden is an exciting and rewarding endeavour. It is easy to invite butterflies in to your area by gardening with their needs in mind. These beautiful insects will add bright colours and entertaining antics to your garden display.

Locate the Garden in a Sunny Area

Butterflies and most butterfly attracting plants require bright sunshine.

Plant Nectar Producing Flowers

Butterflies visit flowers in search of nectar, a sweet fluid produced by the flower as a reward for pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. Many Irish butterflies seem to prefer purple, pink and yellow coloured blossoms. Clusters of short, tubular flowers or flat topped blossoms provide the ideal shapes for butterflies to easily land on and feed. The nectar of single flowers is more accessible and easier for butterflies to extract that the nectar of double flowers which have many more petals.

Use Splashes of Colour in your Landscape Design

Butterflies visit flowers in search of nectar, a sweet fluid produced by the flower as a reward for pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. Many Irish butterflies seem to prefer purple, pink and yellow coloured blossoms. Clusters of short, tubular flowers or flat topped blossoms provide the ideal shapes for butterflies to easily land on and feed. The nectar of single flowers is more accessible and easier for butterflies to extract that the nectar of double flowers which have many more petals.

Plant for Continuous Blossom Throughout the Season

Butterflies are active from early spring until late autumn. Plant a selection of flowers that will provide nectar throughout the entire season e.g. spring – Hesperis, summer – Buddleia, autumn – Sedum.

Include Caterpillar Host Plants in the Garden Design

Caterpillars are selective feeders and only eat specific kinds of plants. Usually the female butterflies lay eggs on or near the plants their caterpillars prefer to eat. If the desired food plants are not available, the butterflies will not egg lay, or the caterpillars will starve rather than eat another type of leaf. Having the correct food plants will lure the female butterflies into your garden and provide food for their caterpillars.

Place Flat Stones in your Garden

Butterflies love to sit in the sun and often perch on stones bare soil or vegetation to spread their wings and bask in the sun. Basking raises their body temperature so they are able to fly and remain active.

Use Biological Controls for Pest Management

Most garden pesticides are toxic to butterflies. Using biological methods will get rid of the pests without killing butterflies.

Just Relax

The best way to get good results for a butterfly garden is to relax and enjoy it, don’t worry about the odd pest or patch of long grass, some butterflies actually lay eggs on rough grass and stinging nettles are a very important host plant for a lot of caterpillars so if you can spare it leave a patch of your garden to go a bit wild.