Butterfly Gardening

Butterfly on Milkweed
Butterfly on Milkweed

Make your yard butterfly-friendly !

A Butterfly Garden

Butterfly gardens don’t have to be large. You can grow plants in containers on a patio or even in hanging pots and window boxes.  A 6’x6’ corner of your yard could become an incredibly beautiful spot with plants for the butterflies.  Add a little bit of white picket fencing, a bird bath or a metal chair and you will have a wonderful spot!

  • Place your garden in the sunniest location possible.  Butterflies need to maintain body temperature, so a sunny spot is very important.
  • The key to attracting butterflies is to provide them with lots of nectar sources; they also prefer to feed on open, tube-shape flowers.  We have the native Milkweed in our butterfly garden here at the nursery and it is by far the first choice among the butterflies.
  • All butterflies start out as caterpillars that require host plants on which to feed. Many of these are native plants—weeds and wildflowers that may already be growing on or near your property.
  • After a rain, you may see butterflies congregating around a puddle or damp area in the garden to drink and extract minerals from the soil. Keep a source of water in the same spot will keep butterflies coming back.
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)

Some of the plants that attract the butterflies are Alliium, Asters, Monarda, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Daylily, Echinacea, Baptisia, Sedum, Coreopsis and Helenium.  We have all of these available so you can get started on your own butterfly garden.  This fall, we will have available seeds from our Milkweed.  For a more complete list and more tips on Butterfly Gardening, we have a page on our Plant Page that covers this topic more!

Thanks to the Farmer’s Almanac on information helpful for this blog.


4 thoughts on “Butterfly Gardening”

  1. Your blog on butterfly gardening didn’t mention neonicotinoids. Are you able to obtain nursery stock that has not been treated with these toxins?

  2. Jim: We grow almost all of our perennials from plugs and we do not treat anything that flowers with neonicotinoids. We do not treat any flowering shrubs or flowering trees either. We want to protect the bees and the butterflies as well.

  3. Thank you so much about the information about neonicotinoids. I just attended a gardening class last evening which talked about them. It’s good to see my learning being reinforced by other professionals in the business.

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