Who do not love butterflies and making a butterfly container garden is a great way to invite beautiful butterflies fluttering across your urban garden.
Butterflies visit a garden for two things: In search of food (nectar) which they get from butterfly friendly flowers and for host plants to lay their eggs. So if you are making a butterfly garden, ensure you grow both butterfly friendly flowers that are nectar rich and host plants, type of plants that caterpillars prefer to eat.
Making a Butterfly Garden in Containers
Choose a right location
Usually, butterfly prefers to flutter in a sunny location that is less windy. For a butterfly container garden choose a location that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily and remains less windy.
Grow butterfly friendly plants
Grow nectar plants in containers to attract butterflies. Wildflowers and weeds and flowers of non-hybrid varieties are suitable. Also, choose plants that have long blooming season. Mums, yarrow, queen Anne’s lace, gaura, lantana, nemesia, zinnia, lavender, petunia, marigold, cosmos, verbena, butterfly weed, and pentas.
Plant host plants
Growing host plants when making a butterfly garden is important too. Host plants will attract the butterflies, they will lay the eggs on the bottom of their leaves, which will later become the caterpillar and feed on host plants. You can grow black eyed susan, common milkweed, asters, coneflowers, hollyhock, nasturtiums, herbs like dill and fennel and climbers like passionflower vine.
Arrange Plants at a different height
Arrange plants that at a different height. A combination of low-growing flowers, tall shrubs and trailing plants would be great. You can also apply the thriller-spiller-filler technique.
Plant densely and grow flowers in masses
Pollinators attract towards the areas where plants are planted densely and flowers appear in masses as they prefer to flutter from flower to flower.
Also Read: How to Make a Bee Friendly Garden
Flower color matters
Do you know butterflies can see colors and they attract more towards bold and warm colors: Yellow, pink, red, purple, lavender, bluish green or orange. Also, the flowers that bloom in clusters, short tubular flowers or those with large flat petals lures them.
Do mulching with leaves
Some butterfly species lay eggs and hibernate in the covering of leaf litter or mulch to save themselves from predators, you can do thick mulching on each pot to help them.
Obtain a puddling source
You often see butterflies on moist sand or mud and it looks like they are nibbling something. This behavior is called puddling, they do this to obtain the minerals from the soil. You can create a puddling place in your butterfly container garden by placing a saucer or shallow pan, filling it with coarse moist sand. You can also add salt ½ to ¾ cup (table salt or rock salt) to 1 gallon of sand, mix it well and keep the sand evenly moist or wet all the time.
Avoid the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides
If you’re making a butterfly garden, you must know the use of pesticides discourage the pollinators and kill them too. So avoid using them. Instead, introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs, praying mantis and lacewings and use organic solutions.
Apply pesticides in evening or night
To save beneficial insects and pollinators like bees and butterflies it is best to apply pesticides in the evening or night when they are not active.