Want to attract new butterflies and other beneficial pollinators to your garden? It’s easy with the right plants and a little patience!
Hello nature lovers! Today I am taking little break from a week of building a pollinator garden to share a bit about how the fruits of my labor are already starting to pay off! Over the past week the butterflies have been visiting all the new plants in droves, as well as hanging out around their favorite large butterfly bush at the entrance to our backyard cottage garden.
A few weeks ago I shared this how I gave a well worn butterfly book from the school library’s discard cart a new look with a DIY book cover. I have really been getting into butterflies the last couple of years, so I knew the book would come in handy!
Here are some of the new butterflies in the garden that I am learning about this summer:
This Frittillary butterfly is new to me and our garden, and it’s a real beauty! I found some interesting information about this species here.
I recently planted some white “Pow Wow” coneflowers (Echinacea) and it is already a favorite dining spot for pollinators.
There’s room for two at this buffet!
The white echinacea has already become one of my favorite flowers in the garden and all the pollinators just love it. I think I might try the White Swan Echinacea seeds from Botanical Interests for next year.
Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
My oldest son bought me a pretty drawf butterfly bush for Mother’s Day! The grape-colored purple flowers have attracted so many pollinators.
“Pugster Blue” Dwarf Butterfly Bush~ Source: Proven Winners
This beautiful zebra swallowtail seems to love the Pugster blue. It hung around the bush so long that I was able to get a really good look at it’s details and coloring. I hadn’t noticed the blusih tint of it’s wings before. So pretty!
Butterfly bushes are aptly named! If you want butterflies in your garden, planting a butterfly bush is the easiest way to quickly attract them.
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Right before we left for vacation in mid-July I spotted tiny black swallowtail larvae on my fennel plant. I snipped off the branches with the larvae and carefully placed them in a plastic cup. Then I transplated them by gently placing the clippings around a “sacrificial” fennel plant growing at the edge of our property.
A few days after we returned from vacation there were new swallowtails in our yard! Last year my son and I learned about the life cycle of swallowtails when we discovered them decimating my parsley (their host plant). I actually bought another parsely plant just to “feed” them, and in a couple of weeks we were rewarded with a couple of black swallowtails flitting around the garden.
I recently learned that Black Swallowtails are also known as “Parsley Swallowtails.” After seeing the larvae decimate my parsely last year, I can certainly understand their nickname! Blogger Empress of Dirt shared an informative post about creating pollinator friendly gardens here.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies are very common in Kentucky. I love the bright pop of color they add to a butterfly bush, making them easy to spot from my breakfast nook window seat.
The Tiger Swallowtails also enjoy the white echinacea.
In addition to buttefly bushes and other flowers, they love to “puddle” in groups around shallow pools like mudbanks where they gather nutrients.
On of my main goals in planting a pollinator garden is to save the Monarch butterflies. Yesterday a Monarch finally landed on my large butterfly bush in the backyard cottage garden. I didn’t have my phone but I am hopeful it (or even more Monarch butterflies) will return soon!
Painted Lady Butterfly
Last year I wrote a post all about this pretty painted lady butterfly that visited in the fall. I haven’t seen any yet this year, maybe it is still too early. I have only started learning to identify butterflies by color and pattern. I am sure I will learn about their habits and migratory patterns in time, which will also help with identification.
Dragonflies are garden friends too!
Dragonflies have also been visiting the garden this year. All the new flowers I have planted have definitely served the purpose of drawing beneficial pollinators! Dragonflies eat many pesky insects, making them a welcome addition to the garden.
It is so fun to learn all this new information about butterflies, dragonflies, bees and otherpollinators. A stroll through the garden is a simple way to forget about the problems of the world while becoming acquainted with new garden friends.
I have always loved butterflies, but I never really took the time to explore their diversity and intricate beauty. I am thrilled to have a new hobby that can be enjoyed throughout my life. So far, I don’t really have a favorite butterfly. What is your favorite? I love hearing from you, dear readers!
Thanks for visiting today!