Tagged milkweed

It’s Monarch Butterfly Season

 on thistle
on thistle

I’ve noticed Monarch butterflies are visiting my gardens and have always found their story quite fascinating.
See why here.

As gardeners, there are many ways that we can not only encourage Monarchs to visit, but also ensure that we don’t contribute to the reduction of these beautiful insects.

Organic gardening methods greatly reduce the destruction of the habitat that Monarchs favor. Using environmentally friendly pest and weed removal methods goes a long way in preserving Monarch’s natural habitat. Also by encouraging native plant growth in our yards and gardens, such as Milkweed which is essential for sustaining Monarch butterflies.

If you’ve ever come upon a flock of Monarchs clustered in the leaves of a tree, it’s a wonderful sight to see them take flight and fill the air with their graceful beauty.

You can even adopt a – what a great gift idea, and it includes an adoption kit as well.

Perennial Butterfly Garden Plants

Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa)
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa)

Attracting butterflies to your garden can be done by adding certain flowers and creating conditions that make them feel welcome.  A butterfly garden should receive a minimum of 5-6 hours of sun per day.  Butterflies like water, shelter from the wind, and rocks to rest and warm themselves on.  Adult butterflies need nectar to sustain them, and their offspring need host plants to feed on.  Avoiding the use pesticides in a butterfly garden is also important, since pesticides are toxic to caterpillars and butterflies.  Try using organic methods to deter pests, or if necessary apply garlic or hot-pepper spray as needed.

Adding a mix of annual and perennial flowers to the garden will provide flowering plants all summer long.

Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa) is hardy to zone 3.  It’s a perennial that does well in full sun and provides plenty of nectar-rich blooms for butterflies.

Yellow Perennial Coreopsis
Yellow Perennial Coreopsis

Coreopsis are hardy to zone 4 and come in an array of colors, providing flowers all summer long.  Coreopsis are especially favored by Monarch, Eastern-Tailed Blue and Common Buckeye butterflies.

Garden Phlox
Garden Phlox

Garden Phlox is wonderfully fragrant, comes in white, shades of purple and pink, and attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.

Lilium Acapulco (Asiatic Lily)
Lilium Acapulco (Asiatic Lily)

Asiatic Lilies are beautiful additions to any garden, are hardy to zone 4 and come in as many colors as you can imagine. They are wonderfully fragrant and are great for cut flower arrangements too.  Of course, both butterflies and hummingbirds will approve an addition of these beauties to your garden.

Asiatic Lily
Asiatic Lily

Other annual and perennial flowers to add to your butterfly garden include  Black-Eyed Susan,  Butterfly Milkweed, Coneflowers, Cosmos, Yarrow, Hollyhocks and Zinnia.

For more information on creating a butterfly haven in your backyard or garden, visit www.gardenswithwings.com or University Of Minnesota , Creating a Butterfly Garden website.