Creating A Butterfly Garden

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This article provides tips and ideas for designing and growing a butterfly garden
by Brett · All Zones · Theme Gardens · 0 Comments · August 30, 2010 · 11,050 views

Butterfly GardenA successful butterfly garden has plants that meet butterfly's needs duringall four life stages, the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult. Butterflies and moths undergo complete metamorphosis in which they go through these four different stages:

  • Egg - A butterfly starts its life as an egg.
  • Larva - The larva (caterpillar) hatches from an egg and eats leaves or flowers almost constantly. The caterpillar molts (loses its old skin) many times as it grows.
  • Pupa - It turns into a pupa (chrysalis); this is a resting stage.
  • Adult - A beautiful, flying adult emerges. There is no growth during this stage. This adult will continue the cycle and reproduce.

You can attract butterflies to your garden by providing them with food (plants and flowers), water, shelter, and places to lay their eggs (host plants). Butterflies drink nectar, so growing nectar-rich flowers will attract butterflies to your garden. Also, when their eggs hatch, the caterpillars eat the foliage of the plant they were laid on, so growing the right type of plants to feed caterpillars is important, since it will allow female butterflies to lay their eggs in your garden.

There are two different functions that plants serve for butterflies: nectaring plants, plants that the butterflies will sip nectar from, and host plants, species specific plants that they will lay their eggs on:


Most butterflies only eat flower nectar. Different species of butterfly usually prefer different flowers, but they will generally feed on many types of flowers from plants, shrubs, vines, and trees.


When it comes to laying their eggs, however, butterflies only lay them on the plant that the caterpillar will eventually eat (this differs from species to species). The eggs are frequently laid on the underside of leaves.

Caterpillars mostly eat leaves; usually the leaves that they were laid on. Plants will grow foliage back.

You can buy butterfly attracting perennial plants at


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