Create a garden that will attract butterflies to your backyard
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By: Stephanie Sandoval
Attracting the beauty of butterflies to your backyard is as easy as knowing a few key plants and a few hours of your time.
Adriane Grimaldi, volunteers her time giving butterfly tours at Boyce Thompson Boyce Thompson Arboretum says April is the ideal time to plant your garden.
A butterfly garden has nectar plants that attract butterflies and plants called Host Plants that butterflies will lay their eggs on so you have the entire lifecycle in your garden.
The lifecycle includes egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. A grouping of plants in all different colors can be planted to help butterflies find garden. Adriane Grimaldi teaches students at Bethany Learning Center in Tempe, Arizona how to not only plant the garden, but identify stages of the life cycle.
In Arizona, there are 332 different species of butterflies, second only next to Texas with the most butterflies. Butterfly season is between March and can go until November, dependent upon weather.
More Tips To Plant A Butterfly Garden:
Need Sunny location (Butterflies love the SUN!)Think of butterflies as solar-powered. They can only fly when it is warm outside.
Provide Nectar plants such as Lantana, Verbena, Zinnias, Cosmos, Sunflower, Marigolds. Nectar gives butterflies energy. Flat or clustered flowers are best.
Provide Host plants that are needed for butterflies to lay eggs on such as Passion Vine, Desert Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Desert Senna, Baja Fairy Duster, Dill, Parsley, Fennel, Carrots. Female butterflies lay eggs and caterpillars eat these host plants.
No pesticides, because it kills caterpillars and butterflies.
Provide moisture with dish of wet sand for mud puddling. Butterflies extract water and minerals out of damp soil.
For more information about butterfly gardening, you can contact Adriane Grimaldi at Bethany Learning Center at 480-838-2440.