My family has had a butterfly garden now for about 5 years. It all started in 2008 when I took the kids for a playdate at a friend’s house. In her backyard were actual swarms of butterflies and caterpillars galore. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I asked her what the heck was going on and she explained that you just have to plant specific butterfly attracting plants.
It can’t possibly be that easy I thought. But lo and behold a quick trip to the plant nursery and a few weeks later we had more Monarch caterpillars than we could feed.
Monarch butterfly caterpillars in particular will only eat Milkweed, aka Butterfly Weed. Zebra Swallowtails are partial to Fire Bush. Other hearty plants sure to attract multiple species of butterfly are Blue Porter Weed and Passion Flower.
We started with a few Milkweed plants and a few Blue Porter Weed bushes. Within no time at all the Monarch caterpillars had pretty much devoured the plants. We actually ran out and had to buy more Milkweed and then transplant by hand, the caterpillars from the totally ravaged plants to the new ones.
Five years later the Milkweed and Porter Weed continue to reproduce on their own and our garden is thriving. We get such joy out of seeing the butterflies and caterpillars each season.
If you’re interested in attracting butterflies to your yard or garden, check out these great sites.
I also own a copy of this great Butterfly Gardening book and it’s been helpful so many times. We can look up butterfly species, caterpillars, plants and more. I highly recommend it and it makes a great gift, which is how I got my copy. My copy is tailored to butterfly gardening in Florida but I am sure you can find books relevant to your area.
So what do you think? Already have butterfly attracting plants in your yard? Interested in starting your own Butterfly Garden? Please let me know your thoughts and if you love butterflies as much as I do!