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Last Update 06/03/08
Butterfly Gardening

Butterflies are like flowers floating in the air.  To make your garden inviting to them means adding a certain magic to your special backyard paradise.  A garden with butterflies (as much as one with lizards, toads, earthworms and other such creatures) is a healthy, balanced and productive garden.  In addition to their beauty, the insects of the order Lepidoptera (butterflies, moths and skippers) provide us the service of pollinating the flowers we grow in our gardens to provide us with the seeds and fruits we enjoy.

Because, by design, butterflies are flyers it is not possible to create a permanent home for these magnificent creatures in your yard, only a way-station where they may stop by to refresh themselves during their everlasting journey.  But by providing the carbohydrate-rich drinks they need for their energy intensive flight and the foods their children need to develop into their parents image, they may visit your little slice of Eden to allow you to enjoy their almost ephemeral beauty.


Be aware though that just providing these colorful little angels the food and drink they prefer is not enough.  No matter how much Buddleia, Milkweed, Sweet Alyssum or other butterfly favorites you may grow in you garden they will avoid it if you are in the habit of using insecticides, weed killers or seed dressings.  Yes, some bad bugs may interpret your invitation to the butterflies to apply to them too, but if you give nature a free hand the birds, lizards, frogs, toads, parasitic wasps, ladybugs and other allies will keep the uninvited guests from ruining your garden party.

More: Butterfly Index, Butterfly Plants, Brushfoots, Milkweeds, Swallowtails


Sources: Butterflies of Florida Field Guide; Florida Butterfly Gardening; Your Florida Guide to Butterfly Gardening


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