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Butterfly Flower Gardening

Butterfly Flower Gardening

Humans aren’t the only creatures who love gardens and pretty flowers. Did you know that butterflies are greatly attracted to certain types of flowers too? Imagine your garden filled with beautiful, colorful butterflies flitting through the plants. It does take a little work to set up a butterfly garden but the results are worth it. In cities today, many butterflies lose their natural habitats when forests and green areas are cut down to make space for houses and office buildings. Perhaps you can help bring back butterflies to the city by creating a butterfly garden. Look through the resources and tips below to find out how to make one of your own! Don’t forget to ask a parent or teacher to help out too.

Butterfly Nectar Plants

Butterfly Host Plants

Behaviors to Watch For

Feeding

Butterflies have a very long tube-like nose called a proboscis, which they use to suck sweet nectar from flowers for their food.

Basking

Butterflies are naturally cold-blooded creatures, but they still like to be warm! To do this, they sit out under the sun and spread their wings wide to increase their body temperature. In a way, it is similar to what people do when they go sunbathing on the beach.

Puddling

Although butterflies use nectar as their food, they still need to drink water to obtain important minerals. To do this, they sometimes settle into a small puddle of water to drink from it.

Perching

Before male butterflies find a mate, they engage in two types of behaviors: perching and patrolling. When a butterfly is perching, that means that it simply sits in one spot for a very long time in the hopes of attracting a passing female. This is also a way to let other males know that it has claimed that territory and that they are not welcome there.

Mating

Butterflies need to mate to create baby caterpillars which then turn into new butterflies. The males use many different techniques to attract a female, including sending out visual and chemical hints and performing a special dance.

Egg-Laying

When butterflies are pregnant, they lay butterfly eggs on plants. These eggs are so small that they can be hard to spot unless you check for them very carefully. The best way to find them is to examine the host plants in the garden. You may even see a butterfly laying her eggs if you see it settling on a leaf on a host plant for a little while.

Design and Layout of a Butterfly Garden

Raising Butterflies & Building Them a Home