Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Attract Butterflies to Your Yard August 19, 2011

Certain shapes and colors of flowers will attract butterflies. They mainly look for a flower that is nectar-rich like butterfly bush, butterfly weed, gaillardia, zinnia, lantana, phlox, coneflower, and the list goes on.

But did you know you could attract butterflies to your yard with sugar water?

Recently, Olbrich Botanical Gardens hosted a Butterfly Exhibit. I had no idea there were so many kinds of butterflies! (See the slideshow at the bottom of this post.)

My daughter and I were winding our way through this steamy, tropical butterfly garden when I saw an odd looking dish with plastic scrubbies in it (you know, the kind you wash your dishes with).  Now my curiosity was peaked  – was this for human or butterfly? It was hot – could it be for us to cool ourselves?

butterfly nectar feeder | | paula bonelli

Try adding a sugar water feeder/container like this one to your garden.

Nope. Turns out it was for the butterflies and it contained sugar water with the scrubbies acting as a perch for these winged friends to sit on while they drank.

I’m going to put one of these in my garden now, since most of my swallowtail caterpillars have hatched into beautiful butterflies floating about the yard. All you need is a simple sugar water recipe (below) and some supplies similar to the picture above. (Keep in mind, this only serves as an additional source of nutrition for the butterflies; they prefer the real thing from your plants.)

Homemade Butterfly Nectar: 1 part regular sugar to 8 parts water (Keep extra in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.)

Why not try it? You probably already have what you need!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Have a butterfly question? Get answers to the Top 10 Butterfly Questions.


4 Responses to “Attract Butterflies to Your Yard”

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