Invite butterflies to live their full lifecycle in your garden. Provide host plants for laying eggs and for caterpillar food.
Butterflies lay eggs that hatch in 3-6 days. A caterpillar pupates in 3-4 weeks then in 9-14 days, a new butterfly emerges.
1. Locate your butterfly garden in full sun. Butterflies need sun to warm their bodies to fly.
2. Plant butterfly-attracting flowers that have strong scents and bright colors.
3. Include plants in your garden for butterflies lay their eggs and for emerging caterpillars to eat.
Select native plants and they will attract local butterflies. Watching a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis is reward enough for all the chewed leaves missing in the garden.
By sipping moisture from mud puddles, butterflies take in salts and minerals from the soil. This behavior is called puddling, and is mostly seen in male butterflies. Placing stones in the garden, or shallow bowls filled with sand and water are perfect for puddling.