To attract butterflies to your garden, you need to know exactly what they look for in nectar.
Plant annual blooming plants among your perennial blooming plants to ensure continuous nectar throughout the year. Asters and Parsley are two of the perennials that provide food for the larval hosts. Remember that the more food you provide, the more species of butterfly that you will attract. Plant a garden that will provide continuous bloom as butterflies are active from spring to fall.
Additionally, they like sunny open spaces, shelter from the wind, and freshwater. Specifically, they look for host plants to lay their eggs. Herbs are very attractive to butterflies because they provide a great environment for their eggs.
The following are some of many flowering plants that are attractive to butterflies:
Lilac: comes in seven different colors, but most of us are familiar with the lilac color. They are perfect for your garden due to their pleasant fragrance. Most lilacs which bloom in the northern states for 2 weeks in late may. They also bloom in early- mid- and late season. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet. They need full sun exposure.
Ironweed: is a late summer bloomer. Ironweed sends flower stalks up to 7 feet. It lasts well into the fall season. It provides nectar for the butterflies that mate in the later seasons. Some species can be used as edible leaf vegetables, such as Vernonia Calvoana, Vernonia Amygdalina, and Vernonia Colorata. Lastly, Ironweed is known to be a larval host for the American Painted Lady butterfly.
Parsley: is the favorite food of black swallowtail caterpillars. It looks beautiful as a border in your flower bed or spilling out of a hanging planter. Parsley is a familiar herb that provides an attractive decoration and a special flavor and nutritious value to dishes.
Coneflower: is easy to grow and provides masses of tall purple bloom. It is also known as a butterfly magnet for its wide variety of colors and prefer by gardeners for its beauty.
Butterfly weed: is a must have in every garden. It tolerates dry soil well, is low maintenance, and has a beautiful flower that can be used as green foliage in your garden when it is not bloom.
Sunflower: is alluring to butterflies, hummingbirds as well as songbirds. They are easy to grow as long as the soil is not soaked. They make an excellent cut flower.
To see more flowers to grow, visit www.herbalcollective.news/magazine May'18 issue.