Many goals come to mind when building a garden. You may want to enjoy the nice visual effect of blooming flowers or you may want to attract beautiful butterflies.
What are the types of flowers that attract butterflies?
It is essential to know the right flowers to attract butterflies because some do not. You may also not like to attract bees to your garden because they can provide an uneasy setting.
Even when they do not sting, bees in your garden can always present the possibility of being stung, and some people are not comfortable with that.
Therefore, what flowers attract butterflies but not bees? Many flowers can attract graceful and beautiful butterflies to your garden but not bees.
Why Should You Attract Butterflies to Your Garden?
Why do you want to attract butterflies to your garden? Aside from butterflies being beautiful, there are many benefits of attracting butterflies to flowers in your garden.
• Butterflies are a Component of the Food Chain
To begin with, butterflies eat the leaves of specific plants for energy and growth. Some of them also like to eat seed pods and flowers. When butterflies eat all these, they are able to help your flowers in many ways.
When butterflies eat flowers and seed pods, they prevent some plants from propagating or growing out of control.
• Some butterfly species eat rotten fruits in the garden. Some butterfly species eat garden pests such as aphids, thus helping your garden free of pests.
• Some butterflies eat animal excrement, dead animals, or carrion. This cleans the environment of waste and keeps down diseases in your garden.
• Butterflies eating leaves can help the flowers thin out before autumn.
Butterflies are also food for such animals that may stroll in your gardens, such as birds and some small mammals. It makes butterflies an essential component of the ecosystem.
• Butterflies are Great Pollinators
The best-known function of butterflies is excellent pollination. Butterflies use their long tongue (proboscis) as a “straw” to sip nectar that is far down into the flower.
Butterflies sit or hover near flowers to collect pollen and nectar for food and larvae in their nests or hives. When they do so, they collect pollen on their bodies and carry them on to the next flower, and the cycle begins. This is a method of pollination. It is also how bees pollinate plants.
Many plants need help to pollinate them, and butterflies are great at doing this. Most fruits and vegetables need cross-pollination to bear food. Butterflies help get pollination done. Other than pollinating plants, butterflies are also an essential component of the food chain.
• Butterflies are Indicators of the Environment
Butterflies are sensitive to whatever change happens in the environment, making them a forerunner of ecosystem change. Environmentalists use butterflies to see changes in the environment brought about by warming, chemicals, cooling, etc. before any of them becomes an issue.
Any change in the habitat of butterflies is due to loss of habitat, rainfall. Temperatures can change their migration patterns or when (time of year) they will migrate.
These changes will make animals up in the food chain encounter issues such as pests growing out of control or preventing plants from properly being pollinated.
Butterflies can be eaten by their predators when they lose their habitat. When this happens, the whole ecosystem will be thrown off.
The sensitivity of butterflies to many environmental changes allows gardeners and ecologists to expect more possible changes. Butterflies are also sensitive to pesticides, making them a good indicator of pesticide buildup that could affect plants and animals.
• Butterflies can act as Pest Controls
Butterflies can act as a free pest control agent to your plants. Some of them eat woolly aphids, and female butterflies tend to lay their eggs in the middle of a mass of aphids.
• Butterflies make you Happy
Spending time in your garden, watching butterflies can be good for your mental health. The sight of butterflies feeding on your flowers brings great pleasure, and in most instances, can help relieve stress.
How to Attract Butterflies to your Garden
Butterflies and flowers are a perfect pair, and there are many flowers that butterflies love to be with. Butterflies are often referred to as flying flowers which are flowers that are attached to butterflies. How then can you attract butterflies to your garden?
Creating a butterfly-friendly garden will attract and keep butterflies in your garden. If you want to attract butterflies to your garden include plants that can be their sources of food.
• Plant pollen-and nectar-rich flowers
If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, it is essential to know that nectar is everything to butterflies. If you, therefore, want to attract and keep butterflies in your garden, you need to have flowers that can act as hosts to butterflies where they can lay their eggs. Once the larvae hatch, these flowers and plants will be food to the butterflies. Nectar plants are the most ideal.
Plant native flowers in your gardens because they will be most advantageous to butterflies in your area. You can consult the garden center in your community for some recommendations.
Your goal is to have a pollinator-friendly garden so choose flowers that are pollen and nectar-rich flowers such as old-fashioned flower varieties and wildflowers.
Perennials, blooming annuals, and shrubs are good sources of pollen and nectar. They will ensure the availability of pollen and nectar all through the growing season. Butterfly larvae also feed on fennel, dill, and milkweed.
• Plant a wide variety of flowers
Butterflies are diverse animals, and they want to have a wide assortment of food sources. Large butterflies prefer flat flowers that offer suitable landing spaces. Smaller butterflies need smaller clusters of flowers because they will not drink deep into the nectar of large flowers.
Include flowers in various colors, shapes, and sizes to meet the food source requirements of different butterflies.
• Plant flowers in clusters
Butterflies are nearsighted. They can see well only when they are about 10 feet from an object. Objects appear blurred at a distance. Butterflies can see reds because they are good at discerning colors.
To attract butterflies to your garden, plant nectar-rich flowers in clusters. Clusters of flowers with the same colors will make butterflies quickly see them from a distance.
Butterflies will also find it easier to see clusters of flowers from a distance in extensive gardens and motivate them to come closer to the flowers.
• Use organic pesticides
Many pesticides are toxic to butterflies. It is more effective and safer to use organic fertilizer. Select and apply pesticides with care. Make sure not to use pesticides when butterflies or other pollinators are present and on open blooms.
This way you can be one with nature in controlling diseases and pests. You will also have a healthier garden and protect your butterflies, other pollinators, and beneficial insects.
• Provide water and food
While a pollinator garden offers nectar and pollen, unique feeders can also attract butterflies. Research on the types of butterflies that live in your area and know what flowers on which they feed. It is essential to provide butterflies food primarily during their caterpillar stage.
Butterflies also need water, so have a birdbath, water garden, or rain catch basin in your garden.
Butterflies are attracted and tend to flock on muddy puddles for nutrients, salts, and water.
• Provide shelter
Butterflies love sunny open spaces. They also need shelter to protect them from the wind, where they can protect themselves from the elements, a place to hide from their predators, and a place to rear their babies.
Shelter for your butterflies may be:
• In a part of your garden that you can allow growing wild or a hedgerow.
• In a decomposing log in a sunny portion of your garden.
• In a dead tree to serve as nooks.
• Create warmth
Butterflies love warmth—plant flowers in areas where the sun hits directly.
• Provide room for butterflies to fly
Butterflies need to have room to fly. Plant nectar-rich flowers alongside an open lawn or patio.
Butterflies are essential to your garden. Creating a butterfly-friendly garden will attract more of them.
What Flowers Attract Butterflies, but Not Bees?
Tons of flowers can attract butterflies to your garden. The beauty and fragrant smell of flowers are not just for butterflies but also for your own enjoyment. Here are some of the more popular choices of flowers that attract butterflies to your garden but not bees.
Adult butterflies love yellow, red, orange, purple, and pink blossoms clustered or flat-topped and with short flower tubes. They get attracted a lot to these colored flowers. The best plants with nectar for butterflies should get mid-morning to mid-afternoon sun.
Yellow, giant, and vibrant sunflowers attract butterflies and can brighten up your garden. Sunflowers can come in dwarf to giant size varieties that can grow to as tall as 12 feet. Choose the type that will fit into your garden.
Butterflies love sunflowers for their large heads that provide a great landing area for them to feed on the plant’s nectar.
Sunflowers bloom in summer and fall. They are popular with migrating butterflies. They thrive in full sun and are best planted in large open areas. Some varieties are best to be planted to the sides and back of smaller gardens.
Whatever size you choose, sunflowers provide a welcoming and bright atmosphere for butterflies and you.
Hollyhocks are an all-time favorite because they are colorful and vibrant. They, however, only grow for 2 or 3 years, yet they reseed themselves quickly allowing the continuous growth of hollyhocks in your garden. That will enable you to have plenty of time to enjoy their beauty and the butterflies they attract to your garden.
The fragrant scent and flowers of hollyhocks attract butterflies. Butterflies can use the hollyhock nectar for food. They can also use the plant as a place to rest. Butterflies migrate to hollyhocks during their caterpillar stage.
Yarrow is a white/yellowish flower, and it’s beautiful aesthetic and attracts butterflies. Yarrows come with a thick bloom arrangement offering a great landing area for butterflies.
Yarrows are easy to care for and maintain. They can thrive on dry soil but prefer full sunlight. Yarrows can attract a lot of butterflies to your garden.
4. Shasta Daisy
A shanty daisy is a big, yellow, and bright white flower. They usually grow in fields but can bring a lot of brightness to your garden and attract a lot of beautiful butterflies.
Shasta Daisies require some bit of care, such as proper soil and a drainage box to ensure they do not get too much water. They are best planted as accents to borders.
Butterflies are attracted to Shasta daisies because they are cut flowers and last long. While they are typically used for flower arrangements, Shasta daisies can offer butterflies great nectar for thirty days.
Lantana is an annual because it is a tropical flower. This flower grows best in container gardens or hanging baskets. Wherever you plant them, they can add a lot of color to your garden.
Every butterfly garden should have Lantana. Butterflies are attracted to Lantana plants because of their bright blue, pink, purple, yellow, orange, and white blooms; also the sweet-smelling nectar Lantana is irresistible to butterflies.
Lantana features dome-shaped clusters of tubal flowers, which butterflies prefer because they can safely rest as they drink its nectar.
Your choice of flowers that attract butterflies but not bees can help create the garden of your dreams. Include these flowers and create a garden with lots of amazing butterflies hovering over it.