Butterfly Gardening for Louisiana Infographic

Allen D. Owings, Smith, Megan M

Butterfly Garden

Butterflies provide unequaled splendor and motion. Our fascination with these magical creatures is as evident today as it has been throughout history. Speaking to our gentler and possibly our romantic selves, butterflies have a calming effect. Observing these marvelous creatures fluttering seemingly effortlessly sometimes sets our minds adrift.

Benefits of Butterflies

  • They are excellent pollinators.
  • Butterflies are indicators of the natural balance of our environment (changes in natural communities).
  • Butterfly habits attract other wildlife and provide an excellent place for children to learn.

Life Cycle of Butterflies

  • Step 1: Caterpillar The caterpillar locates a plant as a nutritious food source and begins eating and growing.
  • Step 2: Chrysalis (pupa) The caterpillar forms a pupal case which becomes home. This is a resting period and there is no feeding at this time.
  • Step 3: Butterfly (adult) Fully grown butterflies require food to maintain their bodies. Nectar provides sugars which are converted into energy.

How to Create a Butterfly Garden

A butterfly garden may be a few containers of one or two butterfly attracting plants or a very sizable garden with many different species to attract butterflies. To create a "butterfly friendly" environment, there are a few simple requirements: food, water, shelter, and a place to reproduce.

Types of Plants for Garden

Many plants can attract butterflies to a garden area. They can include annual and perennial flowers, deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, vines, and other material. Butterflies use many different species as hosts or nectar plants. Some butterflies are attracted to a wide range of plants. Others may be attracted to just one or two individual plant species. Listed below are common names of plants serving as hosts or nectar sources.

To Name a Few Types of Plants:

  • Spring: African marigold, Annual salvia, Annual sunflower, Lantana, French marigold, Impatiens, Sedum, and Verbena.
  • Summer: Ageratum, Anise hyssop, Ganzania (treasure flowers), Black-eye susan, Blanket flower, Blue mist, Butterfly weed, and Candlestick tree.
  • Fall: Joe-pye weed, Johnny jump ups, Pansy, Cosmos, Ornamental cabbage, Snapdragon, Butterfly weed, and Pot Marigold (calendula).
3/26/2013 10:56:46 PM
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