Sunday, July 17, 2011


I enjoyed this video by Yoland Vandeen of She expertly describes why butterfly gardens are so beneficial to not only the lepidopteras, but to us, TOO! A genuine summer of entertainment. Also, because of Nature Deficit Disorder, which many children are suffering from, a butterfly garden outside the front door is critical. Monarchs are beginning to appear here in NW Ohio; I've seen one daily laying eggs on the milkweed plants in my yard. Plant indigenous plants, because butterflies and native flowering plants have co-evolved for thousands of years. Monarch butterflies can only survive with milkweed plants, which they use for egg-laying, caterpillar development, etc.

I plant milkweed for Monarchs, dill and parsely for Black Swallowtails, and snapdraggons for Ohio Buckeye butterflies. Many butterflies lay eggs on trees around the neighborhood, for their young caterpillars to feed on. We have plenty of Sycamore trees around and, not surprisingly, many adult Tiger Swallowtails visit my garden to nectar. In short: More Host FLOWERS + TREES = MORE BUTTERFLIES, and vice versa. How does your flower garden and your neighborhood trees size up as butterfly HOST PLANTS?

Make sure your native plants are of many colors, for butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, plant good nectar sources in the sun: Your key butterfly nectar source plants should receive full sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Butterfly adults generally feed only in the sun. If sun is limited in your landscape, try adding butterfly nectar sources to the vegetable garden.

Enjoy the video by Yolanda Vanveen, and why not join MONARCH WATCH to learn how to attract butterflies in general and to help save the Monarch Butterfly in particular?


Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. writes about transforming urban sprawl into wildlife-friendly spaces, one yard at a time! Click HERE to read his story. A percentage of income from ad sales is donated to MONARCH WATCH. Have you created a wildlife-friendly space in your yard? We'd enjoy posting it! Contact us at the secure Bpath Mail Form.