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Home & Lifestyle > Gardening > Garden Design & Styles

A Guide to Attracting Butterflies

While most insects are not a welcome site to homeowners, butterflies are the exception. Butterflies add beauty and color to a garden. If you want to attract butterflies to your yard then all you need to know is what butterflies are interested in.


Like all living things on this planet, butterflies need water to survive. You can attract butterflies to your yard by providing them with a water source. Water can be offered in a bird bath, is a dish, or with moistened plant leaves.


In addition to water, butterflies also are attracted by certain perennial plants. By planting any of the following plants you will be able to attract butterflies to your yard. The perennial plants that butterflies like include: aster, bee balm, butterfly weed, clover, coreopsis, dianthus, lavender, lupine, mint, passion flower, coneflower, sage, salvia, scabiosa, Shasta daisy, thistle, violets, and yarrow.

If you live in an apartment, and you want to attract butterflies to your balcony or patio then you may want to try potted flowers. There are even butterfly planters that you can buy that contain flowers and plants that both look pretty and that attract butterflies. These butterfly plant kits can usually be purchased for less than $10.


Providing your butterflies with a butterfly house is another way to attract these colorful insects to your yard. Butterfly houses look similar to bird houses except that they have smaller openings.

Wildlife Friendly Yard

Having a yard that offers a variety of foliage, a water source, and hiding spots from predators will not only attract butterflies, but it will also attract other types of wildlife as well. Shady spots should also be added into the design of your yard.


In addition to creating a yard that is attractive to butterflies, you can also create an environment that is attractive for the butterfly’s reproduction. Incorporate trees and bushes that eggs can be laid on, that caterpillars can feed on, and that cocoons can be built on. If you want butterflies in your yard, you need to leave caterpillars alone. While they may eat a lot of your leaves, your tolerance during the larval stage will ensure that your yard will be fluttering with color in the coming months.


Butterflies are a remarkable creation of nature. They add color, movement, and beauty to your yard. To attract them to your yard you need to provide them with food, water, shelter, and space. You will also need to allow them to go through their life cycle without interference, which means you shouldn’t kill caterpillars, even though they are eating the foliage off your favorite trees and bushes. To reduce caterpillar damage try moving a caterpillar from your favorite tree to another bush or tree in your yard instead of killing it.

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