Who's is going to set up a Butterfly or Hummingbird Garden at home this year? Our friend Kori from KoriAtHome will be giving us a step by step information on how to set up a butterfly or hummingbird garden at home.
For example, if you want to do a garden with your kids, you could do a simple flower garden. Or you could set up a butterfly garden at home. Setting up a butterfly garden may also attract hummingbirds.
How to Set Up a Butterfly or Hummingbird Garden at Home
Butterfly gardens require several things to be successful: plants, water, and the right gardening attitude.
With just a little bit of planning, you can have beautiful butterflies and hummingbirds flocking to your garden. That's good news for gardeners because not only are these winged creatures fun to watch, they're essential pollinators. The key is to know what hummingbirds and butterflies look for, which is flowers with nectar.
Before you even begin your butterfly garden, find out which species of butterflies are in your area. Consider taking an exploratory hike around your location with a butterfly identification book.
This may take a little extra time and effort, but the results will be worth it. After you have compiled your list of local butterfly species, be sure to write down in your butterfly garden plan what these particular species of butterflies use for nectar and food plants.
How to Choose Flowers for a Butterfly Garden
When you select nectar-rich plants for your garden, look for varieties that are both prolific bloomers and have a long bloom time. Prune your plants to prevent excessive woody growth and encourage the growth of new flowers.
Try these tips from Monrovia, one of the leading growers of plants:
- Hummingbirds are attracted to bright orange, red and hot pink blossoms. Their long, narrow beaks can reach the nectar of long, tubular flowers such as the Balboa Sunset Trumpet Vine with its large scarlet blossoms, and the Goldflame Honeysuckle, which has vibrant yellow and red flowers.
Other good choices are the Super Red Flowering Maple and the Navajo series of Salvia, available in many colors, including bright red, rose and salmon red.
- Not all hummingbirds feed at the same height, so plant an array of shrub sizes and climbing vines for food sources.
- Butterflies are attracted to yellow, orange and red. They too are seeking nectar, but their mouths, or proboscises, are much smaller, so they prefer flatter flowers they can perch on while they feed. The no-fail plant for butterflies is the Butterfly Bush, or Buddleja.
However, since they can get too large for some gardens, consider the Petite series of Dwarf Butterfly Bushes. Petite Indigo has a profusion of lilac-blue flowers; Petite Plum sports reddish-purple blooms and the Petite Snow has pure white blossoms.
- Lilacs are favorites of butterflies but don't typically flower well in climates with warmer winters. The Blue Skies Lilac produces huge clusters of light lavender-blue flowers that don't require winter chilling. Butterflies love Coneflowers, such as the bright pink Pixie Meadowbrite.
Asters are great because they bloom well into fall. The new Farmington Aster has a profusion of lilac bloom clusters that butterflies flock to.
More Important Elements for Your New Butterfly Garden
Supply a source of water. Hummingbirds enjoy flying through a fine mist, which cools them off. Butterflies like drinking from shallow puddles. Position some large flat rocks in a sunny spot, on which butterflies can sun themselves to warm their wings.
A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.
You can also provide simple nectar water.
Wind can be a butterfly's worst enemy so be sure to have plenty of wind protection in your design. You can plant tall shrubs and other plants in order to create a windbreak, but a location that avoids heavy winds is even better.
By following these tips, you can turn your backyard into a welcoming sanctuary for butterflies and hummingbirds.
Your turn: What tips do you have set up a Butterfly or Hummingbird Garden at home?
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