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Attracting Butterflies to your South Florida Garden

Posted by Lorea Thomson on Friday, April 14th, 2017 at 1:37pm.

 

Gardens are beautiful and butterflies seemingly bring the garden to “life” with fluttery movement from plant to plant. South Florida is a great area to have a butterfly garden. Butterfly gardens come in all shapes and sizes. It can begin in a single pot or a plot of land. It is possible to add a few plants to a couple of beds or a window box or transform an existing garden.

A garden full of butterflies requires a good mix of butterfly nectar and select plants so that butterflies will not only be attracted to your shrubbery for a drink, but they will also lay eggs. This provides a place for the entire butterfly life cycle to ensue.

The butterfly life cycle includes various stages: eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis and finally, butterflies. All the sages can all be found in a good butterfly garden. To keep a steady stream of color and butterfly visitors to your garden you’ll want to include a variety of plants that bloom at fluctuating times throughout the season. By planting the flowers in bunches you’ll help butterflies see them from a distance.

To get the butterflies to arrive, you just need to provide the right host plants. Once you start planting your garden, be patient. Butterflies and eggs might show up right away or it may take some time for them to find your garden.

According to the Florida Native Plant Society , plant larval foods.  Many caterpillars, which metamorphose into butterflies, species that you'd like to see as adults. Since highly preferred hosts may be unattractive or eaten until they have few leaves, plan an out-of-the-way place for these hosts. You might require specific host plants for food.  It is also suggested that you plant species with nectar.  Butterflies are attracted by sweet-, pungent- and acrid-smelling flowers that are orange, yellow, pink, purple and red and avoid pesticide use.

Visit HERE for a list of top ten flowering plants in Florida.  One pot or one plot of land with the right flowering plants can create a colorful environment to attract butterflies.

 

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