Butterfly Gardening Facts Visit GreenscapeGardens.com for More Information

Butterfly gardening has become very popular in the St. Louis area. Butterfly gardens can range in size from several acres to a small container garden. By choosing the right plants, you can attract many different butterflies, adding a moveable mural of color to your landscape.
The general requirements for butterfly gardening in St. Louis are: full sun, nectar source plants, larval host plants and a pesticide-free environment. Plant selection and placement are the most effective methods to attract butterflies, site selection for a butterfly garden is also important. Butterflies like sunny sites and areas sheltered from high winds. Warm, sheltered sites are most needed in the spring and fall. Provide rocks or bricks for pupation sites and for basking and warming in the sun.
Butterfly gardens are best planted in the spring with established plants or in the fall with mature plants that will become dormant and re-emerge in the spring. It is best not to plant in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. Plant your butterfly garden in full sun. Butterflies also need sun to warm their bodies for flight. Flowering plants need sun to flourish in order to produce nectar for butterflies.
One of the most common mistakes in butterfly gardening is planting only one nectar source. Adult butterflies have a very short lifespan. Planting a variety of nectar sources will encourage more butterflies to visit the garden. Planting an adequate supply of host plants gives butterflies a place to lay their eggs, which will successfully hatch and result in butterflies that will continue to visit the garden. Butterflies are attracted to flowers with strong scents and bright colors, where they drink sweet, energy-rich nectar.
Butterflies typically lay their eggs in late spring and hatch 3-6 days after they are laid. It takes 3-4 weeks for a caterpillar to pupate and 9-14 days to emerge as an adult. Butterflies see more colors than humans do. They seem to prefer red, orange, yellow, purple and dark pink. A large, colorful garden is easy for butterflies to find, and encourages them to stay longer.


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