There’s nothing like enjoying your beautiful garden with the view of brightly colored butterflies flying around it. Not only are these little critters stunning to look at but they also help with pollinating your flowers. To attract butterflies you need to learn what plants to incorporate within your landscape design.
Our native landscape designer, Beverly Auvil shared with us her suggestions on how to attract butterflies to your yard:
Butterflies are attracted to “butterfly bushes” or the Buddleia davidii, so it’s natural that people buy these plants trying to bring more butterflies onto their property. Butterflies are attracted to these plants because they feed on the nectar, but the Buddleia is an exotic invasive plant. Exotic plants are species that evolved in different ecosystems and have few native predators and diseases. According to Michael Dirr, a professor of horticulture at the University of Georgia and expert on landscape trees and shrubs, both Buddleia alternifolia and Buddleia davidii are native to China.
The biggest problem with the Buddleia, or the butterfly bush, is that it is indeed invasive to Bucks County and surrounding areas. Since it is an exotic plant and has fewer predators and diseases, it can out- compete native plants, altering the balance in native habitats. It will produce seeds and the seeds will travel through birds, wind and other animals to additional locations. When an exotic, invasive plant invades our local ecosystem it takes the place of a native plant. When more and more exotic plants replace native plants on our properties and natural areas, our habitats begin to become compromised. This causes our indigenous butterflies and other wildlife to decline in population, or even become extinct.
To truly understand how to attract butterflies to your property, it’s important to also understand the life cycle of butterflies. Here is an example using the Monarch butterfly: