Butterfly Gardening in the Sicily Island Hills

Posted: June 19, 2010 in Homepage

Think like a butterfly for a moment. What do you desire? Food, shelter, sun, water, a place to hang, perhaps these things come to mind. Spend some time simply observing butterflies and you can use this information in planning your butterfly garden.

On your private estate within the Sicily Island Hills, or elsewhere, you can provide for all these needs and step back to watch the magic unfold. The sight of all these flowers is delightful and the addition of butterflies to your environment is a wonderful treat.

The list of plants available to attract butterflies is large and includes common garden flowers as well as wildflowers native to this state. The various stages of the butterfly offer a multitude of opportunities to attract them.

The adult butterfly lays eggs resulting in the caterpillar which changes into the pupa which evolves into the adult. During the caterpillar stage they seek leafy plants. Later the caterpillar hangs as a chrysalis on a plant such as Butterfly Weed, before emerging as an adult butterfly in need of the nectar of this same plant. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is associated with the Monarch Butterfly. Watching an adult emerge from its pupal case is really exciting, especially the first time one experiences it.

As a young caterpillar, the tender green leaves of plants such as dill, fennel or parsley is irresistable.

Adult butterflies on the other hand are looking for nectar producing flowers to satisfy their needs. What better plants to enjoy than Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) and Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa and other spp.)?

Lantana pictured below, a ubiquitous flowering plant available in several colors, is a great nectar source that blooms from spring through fall.

 

Liatris the purple flowered garden cultivar and the native wildflower is a nice vertical accent as well as a great nectar plant. 

Considering that the caterpillar stage of butterflies can do considerable damage by chewing on the foliage of flowers and herbs of your garden one must decide how much of this natural behaviour is tolerable. Are you willing to use pesticides more judiciously or no pesticides in order to enjoy a garden of butterflies?

Butterflies like to partake of minerals in puddles of shallow water, so if you don’t have such a place available for them, incorporate it into your garden. Buy some sand and either by hand or with a irrigation system, keep that area moist.

The secret to a great butterfly garden is part research plus part trial and error. Think like a butterfly and you may enjoy a colorful garden along with a plethora of winged wonders. Enjoy!

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