National Pollinator Week is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean pollinators should be pushed out of our thoughts. It should be a year-long commitment to protecting these vital parts of our environment. Here are some ways to keep butterflies in your garden.
As with any pollinator gardens, you want to steer clear of using any sort of pesticides, conventional or organic. These products kill insects of all creeds, including the beneficial ones.
2. Sunbathing Spots
Butterflies use the sun to warm up their wings and orient themselves to their environment. Lay a few large, flat stones in sunny garden spots for them to relax and soak up some rays.
3. Mud-Puddling Pools
In the words of the great Louis Litt, “There’s nothing to be afraid of – it’s just good clean mud.” Butterflies love muddy puddles! They not only rehydrate at such watering holes, they also take in salts and minerals from the soil. You can made puddling pools easily. Simply fill a shallow pan with sand/gravel and bury it to the rim in your butterfly garden then top up with a bit of water. Since these pools aren’t just for grabbing a quick drink, occasionally sprinkle some salt onto the pool and add some overripe fruit, beer or compost from time to time.
4. Right Place, Right Plant
If you have ever noticed, butterflies are only out and about when it is bright out. That’s because they generally feed in the sun. Make sure you plant nectar- and pollen-rich flowers in spots that receive full sun from mid-morning through mid-afternoon. Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink and purple flowers with short flower tubes. Here is a short list of Tried & True plants that pollinators love.