Posted on 13 September 2008 by

Garden Friends Part 2: Attracting Butterflies

By Vanessa Richins

I am fascinated by butterflies.

There’s at least one good reason : my name actually means butterfly in Greek.

I’m not the only person who loves them, though. Many people hope to have these dainty insects visit their garden.

Here are some tips and plants that help bring butterflies to your yard, courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation.

1. Put plants in full sun.
When choosing your plants, try to pick the ones that grow in full sun, as this is the kind of lighting most favorable for butterfly feeding. Consult a book or catalog for all plants you are interested in planting.

2. Don’t use insecticides.
When we think of pesticides, you think of all the undesirable insects that munch away on your plants. However, these pesticides are not choosy – they just work on any insects, butterflies included.

3. Encourage butterfly caterpillars.
Most caterpillars (the young form of butterflies) can be very picky about what plants they will eat. If you have a certain kind of butterfly you want to attract, research online and in books to see what kind of plants attract those caterpillars.

4. Choose plants that attract butterflies.
Of course, the easiest way to bring butterflies to your garden is to plant species that they like to sip nectar from. Here are some butterfly favorites:
-Butterfly bush : Buddleia davidii
-Butterfly weed : Asclepias tuberosa
-Hibiscus : Hibiscus species
-Hollyhock : Althaea rosea
-Nasturtium : Tropaeolum majus
-Queen Anne’s Lace : Daucus carota
-Sage : Salvia species
-Yarrow : Achillea species

This is just a small sampling of the kinds of plants beloved by butterflies. Check out the lists.

What’s your favorite kind of butterfly?

2 Responses to “Garden Friends Part 2: Attracting Butterflies”

  1. CityGarden Says:

    many words meaning something in Greek but the buterfly in greek is “petalouda” and I can’t find the connection with your name.

  2. Vanessa Richins Says:

    Oh! I wonder why a lot of baby names, such as, say it then. They’re silly. Can I still pretend it means butterfly? 🙂

    I have heard a second origin that it was invented by Johnathan Swift, if I am correct, when he combined Van and Ness for some reason.

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