Of the many creatures at home in the garden, few can match the grace and beauty of butterflies. They are important pollinators and a delight to see in any garden.
A garden that includes plants for the entire life cycle will attract a variety of native butterflies. Butterfly larvae need host plants for food and as a place to pupate, while adult butterflies require nectar sources for food and plants for egg-laying.
Tips for Planting a Butterfly Garden
- Place your garden in a sunny place and provide rocks for butterflies to bask in the sun. Butterflies are sun-lovers and cannot fly until the sun’s warmth heats their bodies.
- Group plants together to create a mass of color.
- Plant shrubs and trees nearby to offer a hiding place from predators and to shelter butterflies from the wind.
- Provide moisture. Butterflies extract water and minerals from damp soil.
- Avoid pesticides. They kill butterflies and their caterpillars.
To attract a diversity of butterflies and other pollinators in your garden, select a variety of plants with different floral colors, shapes, sizes and bloom times. The following plants are native to the Mid-Atlantic region and are listed based on their benefit for the different butterfly stages.
|Caterpillar Host Plants||Plants for Nectar Source|