Butterflies are beautiful additions to any backyard and are also wonderful pollinators. I make sure to plant things in my garden to attract lots of butterflies each spring. In order to do this, it's important to plant a mix of 'nectar' plants that adult butterflies love - to entice them to hang around and lay their eggs, as well as 'food' or host plants for the caterpillars that hatch - to provide them energy and nutrition as they grow and eventually become butterflies themselves.
Butterflies can actually see more colors than humans can. They are particularly attracted to red, orange and yellow, pink and purple flowers. Plants that attract butterflies are often the same ones that attract hummingbirds and bees, so there are multiple benefits to this type of garden. And the thing that makes my version even more special is that all the plants are not only edible for humans, but your chickens will enjoy health benefits from eating them as well! There are lots of plants that butterflies love that aren't edible, including butterfly bush, milkweed and others, but by planting edible plants, we can all share in the bounty!
Planning your Butterfly Garden
Butterflies love sunlight, so you will want to pick a sunny spot for your butterfly garden. Stones in the garden provide a nice, warm place for the butterflies to land and sunbathe, as well as add visual interest to your garden. It's not necessary to provide a water source, but a small bird bath makes a pretty addition to any garden and the butterflies and bees will appreciate it as well as the song birds.
These are some of my favorites to plant in my Butterfly Garden. They are all edible for humans and are a nutritious addition to your chickens' diet as well. Letting your herbs go to flower will help to attract the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
Butterfly Nectar Plants
Basil Bee Balm Echinacea
Hyssop Lemon Balm Marigold
Marjoram Pineapple Sage Sunflower
Caterpillar Host/Food Plants
Borage Carrots Daisy
Dill Fennel Nasturtium
Parsley Peas Violets
Try planting some of these plants in your garden this spring and see if you can attract some butterflies. And remember, don't use pesticides ... the butterflies don't like them - and they're not good for your family or chickens either!
I would love for you to join me here...
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