Tips for an Inviting and Beautiful MN Butterfly Garden

Paris, France --- Fake Butterflies --- Image by © Royalty-Free/CorbisButterflies are icons of Minnesota summers, and we all enjoy seeing these colorful winged creatures fluttering through our gardens. Unfortunately, their populations have been declining over recent years, thanks to habitat loss. These tips will help you have a garden to attract them and help them replenish their numbers.

Plant Selection
Butterflies love brightly-colored flowers and the nectar they supply. Most species also prefer certain types of plants over others, so if you’d like to attract a particular type, research what they prefer to feed on. As you’re doing your homework, look up what types of plants their larvae feed on. Adding those types of plants to your backyard garden will further encourage butterflies to stick around.

Sun and Shelter
In addition to the right types of plants, gardens that get at least 6 hours of sunlight will attract more butterflies. This is because these insects can’t regulate their body temperatures, and must rely on the sunshine for heat. Give them a place to rest their wings by installing flat rocks here and there. They also need sheltered places to lay their eggs, so they’ll be protected from harsh breezes as the eggs hatch.

Like all living things, butterflies also need water to be hydrated. However, they also get trace minerals, like salt, from their water intake. Add a small bowl of water with sand at the bottom to give them this valuable resource, and a flat rock to perch on as they drink.

Avoid Pesticides
It’s ideal to stay away from pesticides when trying to attract butterflies, but if you need them to manage unwanted insects, opt for spot pesticides instead of broad range varieties. Less harmful methods, like soap or oils, will still kill caterpillars. Before using these diversionary tactics, move the caterpillars to a safe area.

Butterfly gardens add beauty and extra life to any home, and help the environment by helping struggling species flourish.  We can help you design a unique garden that complements your overall landscape plan while providing a sanctuary for these winged jewels.