BUTTERFLY ATTRACTING PLANTS–Milkweed for Monarchs


The star of the show for butterfly gardens throughout North America is the Milkweed. It is both nectar and larval host plant exclusive to the Monarch butterfly. There are other butterflies that will nectar the Milkweed but, only the Monarch caterpillar will feed on it and on no other plant. The Milkweed leaves are poisonous to other insects and animals which is what gives the Monarch butterfly it’s toxic status as a defense mechanism. Milkweed is a must for any butterfly garden and is very easy to grow. Technically, it is a weed and so it will require very little care. It is drought tolerant, thrives in almost any type of soil, and reseeds readily. You will only need one Milkweed in your butterfly garden and in no time at all, there will be several new plants.

The Monarch butterfly population has greatly declined over the past few years. There are a few different environmental factors, both natural and man-made that researchers hold responsible for the low numbers. The amazing Monarch butterfly migrates every fall to a few choice spots to over-winter–a couple places along the California coast, and the most popular spot is in the mountains of central Mexico. There are a few organizations that monitor the Monarchs around the country, tagging and counting they keep watch. They all seem to agree that the Monarch butterfly still needs our help to increase their population. All we need to do is plant more Milkweed. Simple!!

By Robin Gravis
Robin’s Bloomin’ Butterflies
321-420-3381
See my store at Zazzle

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What Garden Features Attract Butterflies?

Besides plants and flowers, there are some garden features that will also attract butterflies and other pollinators to your yard, such as; a water source, sun catchers & sun globes, large rocks or stones, and some rotten fruit.

Mud puddles are important to butterflies, bees, and dragonflies as a good source of water. One can be made from a shallow planter saucer filled with sand and kept moist. Butterflies do not have tongues or lips and thus cannot drink like other animals. They instead, extend a tube called proboscis into a flower for nectar or into mud, to extract water. Mud puddles are very important to have in the garden.

Sun catchers, sun globes and any garden feature that flashes or shines, will attract butterflies. Once you’ve got his attention, he’ll poke around for the other goodies. Rotting fruit is a big favorite of butterflies so, toss those rotten apples out there for them. Butterflies and dragonflies really like to bask in the sun early in the morning. A large rock or two are great places for the butterflies to sit and dry their wings before they begin the day. I set mine in the mud puddle and they seem to like the set up.

A few flowers for nectar, some plants for the nursery (caterpillars), shinny toys, snacks and a drink–what more could a butterfly want??
By Robin Gravis
Robin’s Bloomin’ Butterflies
321-420-3381
See my store at Zazzle

Posted in Butterfly Gardening | Comments Off on What Garden Features Attract Butterflies?