Many homeowners want to attract more butterflies to their yard, but have no idea where to start. The best way to do this is to supply butterflies with a variety of plants that are attractive to butterflies native to your region. Don’t just visit your regional big-box retailer and purchase anything with the word”butterfly” in it. Do some basic research on your own, which is very easy to do online, and you will fare much better.
The first thing you need to do is assess what type of environment you have. Is your lawn wooded, or mostly a backyard type? Some butterflies will only go to a certain kind of environment, and regardless of what plants you have, they won’t visit them if they’re not in the right location.
The next step is to do an internet search for your county or city, and see what butterflies are generally found there. As soon as you do so, cross-reference that information with the sort of environment you’ve (woody, garden, etc.. .) . Most often times lists such as that will also record the host plant of the butterfly, but if not, you can search for this too.
A host plant is the type of plant that they will lay their eggs on. The nectar plant is a type of plant that the adult butterflies will feed off of. Commonly butterflies will have a wide assortment of nectar plants where they will feed, but only 1 host plant that they’ll use to deposit their eggs. The monarch butterfly, as an example, will feed off of many different type of nectar plants (lantana, periwinkle, pentas, etc.. .) But only have a single host plant, that’s the milkweed. The monarch butterfly will only lay their eggs on a milkweed plant, because that is the only plant that their larvae (caterpillars) can consume.
To draw the most butterflies to your yard, you can have a variety of nectar plants, but it is most important to have the host plants. You’ll find, by planting many of the host plants together, you will draw a whole lot of species of butterfly.