Butterfly Friendly Gardening

Many people want to make their Utah gardens butterfly friendly, but they don’t know how. Butterflies, bees and other pollinators need safe havens to reproduce and rest during migration. Plus, nothing is quite as beautiful as a garden full of butterflies! So, what are the best ways to lure butterflies to your backyard garden? Following are a few tips and tricks to turn your garden into a butterfly sanctuary.
What Butterflies Need
You can lure butterflies to your yard by incorporating plants they like. These graceful and colorful creatures enjoy plants that will provide nectar as well as plants on which they can lay eggs and that larvae can feed on. Once the larvae have eaten their fill, they will transform and emerge from your garden as beautiful butterflies, going forth to pollinate.
Choosing Your Plants
Blooming perennials are a great addition to any landscape, and they are exactly what butterflies need and like. A few butterfly-attractive perennials you may want to try are liatris, aster, coreopsis, scabiosa, sedum, joe-pye weed and blanket flower. You also can mix in some shrubs such as lilacs and butterfly bushes, which are very aptly named. If you’ve got the room and the inclination, you can also throw in the fragrant honeysuckle vine for good measure. Not only do butterflies love all of these plants and shrubs, but they are also a gorgeous, sweet-smelling addition to any garden.
Utah’s Unique Butterflies
Several species of butterflies abound in northern Utah. The most common are the mourning cloak, clouded sulfur, silver spotted skipper, red admiral, swallowtail, gray hairstreak, spring azure, painted lady and the sovereign of all butterflies, the monarch. Planting butterfly-friendly plants will not only encourage them to flutter through your yard, but stay a while to check out what you’ve got.
Meet Even More Butterfly Needs
Making your Utah garden a safe haven for butterflies involves more than just the types of plants you incorporate. If you live in a windy area, their delicate wings need some kind of shelter, such as a tall hedge or wall. They also need to drink. A few puddles, a pond or a water feature will provide more than enough liquid sustenance.
Remember that, if you want to make your garden butterfly friendly, it will involve some sacrifice on your part. When butterflies are in the caterpillar stage, they may snack on your plants, but that’s a small price to pay for such majestic beauty. Visit the experienced garden specialists at Salt Lake City’s Millcreek Gardens. They can answer all your questions and get you started on growing the perfect butterfly-friendly Utah garden.