Host Plants provide a place for Butterflies to lay their eggs. Tiny Caterpillars cannot travel far - so the female butterfly locates and lays her eggs on only the type of plant that the caterpillar can use as food. Place these plants in a sheltered area where they will not be subject to wind gusts.
Caterpillars need to munch on the foliage, so expect to see a few 'Eaten" Leaves !!
Nectar plants provide food for the Adult Butterfly. Offering a variety of flowering Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals & Herbs will provide the Butterflies choices for nectar in the Spring, and throught our hot summers, and into the Fall ... when most Butterflies are active.
Nectar Plants are vital to an adult butterfly's survival, particularly for migrating butterflies such as Monarchs, as they 'Bulk Up" for a long flight.
Butterflies are cold blooded, and usually do not fly until the temperature is at least 60 degrees. You’ll want to ensure that your garden gets plenty of sunshine, as butterflies only fly well when their wings are warm and dry. Although butterflies will rest and hibernate in wooded areas, Include a flat rocky area in the sun, which will make a good resting spot where they can prepare for a day of flight and feeding.
They also need a water source – and they prefer one that’s very shallow. Some even prefer mud.
A butterfly cannot live on sugar alone; it needs minerals, too.
To supplement its diet of nectar, a butterfly will occasionally sip from mud puddles which are rich in minerals and salts.
This behavior, called puddling, occurs more often in male butterflies, which incorporate the minerals into their sperm.
These nutrients are then transferred to the female during mating, and help improve the viability of her eggs.
To design a successful puddling pool, all you have to do is duplicate butterflies’ natural preferences. Butterflies prefer the safety of puddles instead of backyard ponds which can overwhelm them. With Shallow puddles, butterflies congregate around the damp edges instead of landing in the water. They visit puddling sites during the heat of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
* You may use a Shallow Birdbath or
* Choose a Shallow Pan or Dish (Terracotta Saucer)
* Fill saucer with Sand or Gravel
* Add Larger Flat Rocks around the Edges
(For the Butterflies to Land / Rest on)
* Choose a Sunny Area
* Bury it to the Rim in the Butterfly Garden
* Keep the Puddle Consistently Moist
Typically Butterflies receive enough moisture from the nectar the sip, however the nectar lacks the minerals the male butterflies need.
* After you have made a puddling pool ~ Sprinkle Salt on the Puddle Occasionally
* Then you can Add ...
Overripe Fruit or Stale Beer or Leaf Compost from Time to Time
This will provide the Salt & Nutrients backyard butterflies need !!