Create a butterfly farm If there are enough plants for their caterpillars to eat in your yard, butterflies will be encouraged to reproduce there. The majority of butterflies will only lay their eggs on plants that receive direct sunlight, so if you want to have a garden full of stunning butterflies like small tortoises, peacocks, red admirals, and commas, make sure to give them plenty of clumps of stinging nettles that are exposed to the sun. (Also see panel below.)
Let life go on its own
Keep in mind that by making your garden a butterfly-friendly space, you are also inviting them to lay eggs. They’ll start consuming plants.
For instance, cabbage white butterflies, which you might love watching flit about in your garden, give birth to caterpillars that eat nasturtiums and brassicas. Planting as many cabbages and nasturtiums as possible may be a solution, provided you don’t mind the caterpillars eating some of them. The majority of other caterpillars, fortunately, are not overly greedy. At worst, they eat a few leaves without causing any harm, which is a little price to pay for the joy of having butterflies visit your yard for decoration.
Making the correct plant choices
Make careful to plant your garden with the kinds of plants that draw butterflies (see panel, right). If you want to attract more butterflies, keep track of the plants that they frequent in the summer and grow more of them the following year.
Purple, orange, yellow, and red flowers draw butterflies. Remember that butterflies find it difficult to sip from flowers with downward-hanging petals or ruffled petal edges, and that nectar is more accessible to them in single blooms than in double blooms, some of which may produce no nectar.
Flying above windfalls
While plants with abundant nectar supplies are frequently the primary food source for butterflies, falling fruits can also be quite alluring. Leave stray apples, pears, and plums in their current locations. Red admirals in particular will appear in great numbers to feast on the ripening fruit.
The painted lady, peacock, and red admiral are just a few of the impressive and enormous British butterflies that go by the moniker “aristocrat.”
“Butterfly” number one
The brimstone will have a place to hibernate if you grow ivy. The butter-colored flying bug that later earned the name brimstone butterfly is regarded to be the only one to have been the subject of the first uses of the word butterfly. At some point, all species were referred to as “butterflies.” Due to its ability to fly from February until November, the brimstone butterfly may be the first and last to be spotted each year. It ingests nectar from untamed flowers, and its caterpillars are reliant on buckthorn and alder buckthorn for nourishment.