Butterfly Garden Plans – How to Attract Butterflies & Birds

A few weeks ago, one of my little kiddies gave me a white birdhouse for an end-of-the-year teacher gift. I was afraid that I was too late to attract any residents, but for the past two days, a family of wrens has begun to build a nest in my little house. I am thrilled.

coralhoneysuckle

Two years ago, I planted a Coral Honeysuckle vine, and it has been twining around one of my tall bird feeder poles, Every time that a hummingbird sips out of one of my orange cups, I smile.

Last year, I bought a sturdy red bird feeder that looks like wood. It held up all winter, and it does a good job of attracting birds. Unfortunately, it also attracts squirrels and chipmunks, and if I am not vigilant, the bushy tails drain my red feeder.

To help remedy the squirrel problem, I ordered a caged bird feeder, and it should arrive today. I hope that it will be a place where the smaller birds can eat without being harassed by greedy, large birds and other animals. I also have a feeder for the large birds, however. Most of us gardeners want to attract birds and butterflies to our gardens, and watching these graceful creatures feed and go about their day brings joy to most of us. For that reason, we are willing to spend a few extra dollars and do something extra to make our yards as attractive for them as possible.

“Happiness, do not leave me.
I know you, a capricious monarch
perching on the fortunate flowers you see.
Hear me:
I am too attached to this royalty now.
Can I make you rest here somehow?
I will offer you the nectar of every flower in blossom,
the honey of every fruit in harvest.
I will make the Earth a garden,
the entire universe a forest.
I beg of you not to flutter by.
I beg of you not to leave me, butter-coloured fly.
Nest here
and for you,
I will create a home.”
― Kamand Kojouri

Although it is not necessary to buy an expensive house or feeding station to attract monarch butterflies, they do require milkweed plants. Milkweed leaves provide food for the monarch’s caterpillar, and every bird and butterfly wants sweet, nectar-filled blooms. I suppose it goes like this: Mama butterfly is attracted to the nectar-filled blossoms and while in the garden feeding, she lays her eggs on a milkweed plant [if one is available]. The caterpillars eat the milkweed leaves and grow until they become more monarchs. Thus, a butterfly garden needs both milkweed plants and flowers that are filled with nectar.

It might seem that any blossom would be suitable to attract our winged friends, but research indicates that they prefer some flowers over others.

The Better Homes and Gardens website has an assortment of garden plans, and one of those plans is designed for the primary purpose of attracting butterflies Here.

In this post, I want to discuss some of the flowers that butterflies enjoy, and I’ll begin by telling you something about the plants listed in the Better Home and Garden Butterfly Garden.

A. Butterfly Weed Asclepias Tuberosa [2]

I have a large pot of tropical milkweed that I bring inside during the winter. The caterpillars of monarch butterflies feed on milkweed. Today, I saw a hummingbird drinking from my tropical milkweed. In addition to the tropical milkweed, I also have the orange, native butterfly weed that I leave in my garden all year.

B. Purple Dome Aster [3]

Once the caterpillars become adult butterflies, they like drinking the nectar of several flowers

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C. Butterfly Bush – Nanho Purple [1]

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D. Purple Coneflower [3]

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E. Russian Sage [2]

G. Black-eyed Susan [6]

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I. Scabiosa columbaria Butterfly Blue [2]

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K. Sweet Alyssum

Blossom

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Enjoyed reading your post Jacqui as well as the visual impact. What a five star feast of a nectarie garden 😊 Know that ‘quickening of the heart’ well, though here in the Southern Hemisphere it’s the little sunbirds (similar in species to your hummingbirds) who visit that I celebrate. Isn’t a joy to observe nature in a full and working garden. Hope the little wrens successfully raise a brood in their new home.

    1. jackikellum says:

      What a kind and thoughtful comment. My best to you, too.

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