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Do you love watching butterflies flit from plant to plant like flower petals that have taken wing? Butterflies enhance the landscape, adding beauty and vitality to spring and summer gardens. But simply attracting butterflies isn’t enough. Plant a butterfly garden that sustains butterflies through their entire life cycle.

How to Design a Butterfly Garden

  • butterflies on shrubLet there be light. Choose a sunny spot. Most plants that attract butterflies require at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
  • Bring on the baby food. Caterpillars often have different food sources than butterflies. Butterflies lay their eggs on plants that caterpillars favor, so the next generation gets plenty of nutrients as they grow. Dill, fennel, milkweed, parsley, and white clover are good choices for caterpillars.
  • Plant eye-catching nectar. Attract butterflies to the garden by planting bright flowers with tasty nectar. Different butterfly varieties prefer different nectar-rich plants, so do your homework before designing a butterfly garden. You can also set out saucers of sliced fruit to attract certain types of butterflies.
  • Don’t be shy. Butterflies like big displays of single-color plants. The wild shrubs of English gardens will give your landscape a comfortable, classic feel and attract butterflies to your garden. Don’t have a lot of space? Use the thrill, spill, fill technique to attract butterflies to container gardens.
  • Serve a refreshing beverage. Butterflies love the nutrient-rich water that gathers on the edges of puddles and ponds. If the only water source in your garden is the bird bath, sprinkle sand on the bottom of a shallow saucer of water and set it in the garden for butterflies.

Autumn Hill Nursery has the plants (and the pro tips) you need to plant a butterfly garden in Woodstock.

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