Summer days without them used to be unthinkable: colorful butterflies flying from flower to flower, settling down in sunny spots to enjoy the warming rays of the sun or to invite a fellow butterfly to dance with them. But unfortunately, fewer and fewer of the colorful butterflies visit our gardens. gravel areas with a few conifers or topiaries, the use of chemical pesticides or even "low-maintenance" plants Lawn gardens have displaced more and more habitat for beneficial insects in recent years. These delicate creatures are important pollinators in the cycle of nature.
Fortunately, with some simple tools, this trend can be reversed. The most important thing is of course flowering, long-flowering plants that provide plenty of nectar for butterflies. But that is by no means all. Here’s how you can attract many of the colorful butterflies to your garden, increase the ecological value of your green oasis, and help protect species.
Butterflies love variety
Even without a complete redesign, you can make your garden attractive to butterflies. All it takes is a few small areas where you focus your attention specifically on the needs of the butterflies.
Colorful flowering meadow strips or border areas, in which also wild herbs may grow, are a good beginning. Also a raised bed with flowering herb plants or tubs and boxes, in which nectar-rich plants grow, attract the butterflies magically.
If you want to do a little more, you can plant climbing plants on walls, pergolas, etc. A small roof planting on the garden house or on a special garbage can box is also always gladly accepted by butterflies. And if you want to make it more elaborate, you can create a gravel path through the garden or build a dry stone wall. For here the delicate insects like to settle down to warm themselves on the warm stones.
This magically attracts butterflies:
- Flowering meadow strips
- Areas with wild herbs
- flowering herb plants in tubs/boxes
- Climbing plants
- small green roofs (z.B. Garbage can box)
- gravel areas
Wild oases are the nurseries of butterflies
As you can see, there are many ways to attract butterflies back to your own garden. And most of them make the garden even more attractive, not only for the butterflies, but also for us humans. However, perhaps the most important of all measures unfortunately meets with little approval from most garden owners. We’re talking about wild corners, where "weeds" grow in the ground can grow undisturbed.
Nettles, meadowfoam, thistles, clover, or even the dreaded goutweed are plants that we humans are only too happy to banish from our gardens. But it is precisely these plants that are incredibly important for butterflies: the "nursery" of the butterflies is located in the thicket of unpopular plants.
Butterflies only lay their eggs on plants that serve as food for their offspring after hatching.
Unfortunately, however, the said offspring is also rarely welcome. Because before the butterfly becomes the beautiful garden dweller we want to invite to our plants, we inevitably have to come to terms with its children – the caterpillars. And to prevent them from feeding on our garden plants, wild corners in some areas of the garden are a good solution. There they can complete their metamorphosis into butterflies undisturbed.
These caterpillar food plants provide for butterfly offspring
- Big stinging nettle
- White clover or horned clover
- Panicle and bunch grasses
- Sheep’s fescue
- Garlic rue
- Shepherd’s purse
- Wild carrot
Flowering plants for wild corners
5 wild plants that like to get lost in gardens
If you have a garden, you surely know this. As time goes by, more and more foreign plants appear among the perennials bought especially for the bed. Some of them even bloom in the most beautiful colors and are actually pretty to look at. But can they also stay?
Flower refueling stations invite butterflies for a snack
As soon as the caterpillar has transformed into a butterfly, it goes in search of new plants that can meet its energy needs with nectar. Of course it’s good if the next "gas station" is a good one is only a few wing beats away. But even here you should make sure that the right flowers are nearby. Unfortunately, for most butterfly species, it does matter which plants grow in your garden. Depending on the species, their mouthparts and proboscis are shaped in such a way that they can only reach the nectar of plants that are also their main food plants. Other flowers "do not fit to their proboscis and the precious sweet liquid thus remains out of reach for them.
So here again, variety is called for. It is best to offer the butterflies a colorful mixture of woody plants, perennials, summer flowers, bulbous plants and, last but not least, some pretty wild plants in your garden. So the probability is highest that many different butterfly species will find food in your green oasis.
Make sure plants bloom as long as possible and don’t have double flowers. Rose flowers are beautiful, but most of them, unfortunately, are completely useless for moths and other insects, because they have so many petals that no insect can reach pollen or nectar anymore. Therefore, in the interest of butterflies (and also bees& Co) prefer for plants that have unfilled flowers. There, the colorful flying artists can settle down and suck the nectar provided for them to their heart’s content.
"Purple flowers magically attract butterflies."
By the way, did you know that a butterfly can detect suitable flowers with its antennae and eyes from a great distance?? Especially violet blossoms have taken a fancy to the butterflies and attract them in droves.
Therefore, you should avoid purple flowering plants – z. B. Night violet, bluecrop or loosestrife – spread out as small beacons in several places in the garden. And once the butterflies are there, they will also find the flowers, which will shine in other colors around the race.