Thinking about starting a butterfly garden, or just trying to figure out which flowers to add to maximize for full impact this fall? Read this article by the LSU AgCenter, whether you are trying to deepen your knowledge of these backyard beauties, or just refresh and search for new ideas. Top flowers for fall will be lantana, verbena, penta, sunflower, marigold, gomphrena, vinca, and zinnia for annuals, and asters, milkweed, cassia, goldenrod, hibiscus, cigar plants, coneflowers, salvias, and yarrow among perennials.
“Butterflies provide unequaled splendor and motion. Our fascination with these magical creatures is as evident today as it has been throughout history. Speaking to our gentler and possibly our romantic selves, butterflies have a calming effect. Observing these marvelous creatures fluttering seemingly effortlessly sometimes sets our minds adrift.
A growing number of Louisiana gardeners are expressing their desire to attract butterflies to their yards. Increasing awareness of the natural habitat loss of some butterfly species because of land commercialization has many people concerned about butterfly survival. In creating a unique habitat, gardeners enjoy knowing they are helping to maintain the survival of these lovely insects along with the enjoyment of enriching their own lives.
Benefits of gardening to attract butterflies are too numerous to list.
Some, however, may include:
- They are excellent pollinators. Feeding primarily on flower nectar, they carry pollen from one flower to another.
- Serving as sensitive ecological indicators, butterflies are indicators of the natural balance of our environment (changes in natural communities).
- Butterfly habitats attract other wildlife and provide an excellent place for children to learn.
Butterfly gardening, or gardening with special thought to adding plants and features attractive and beneficial to butterflies, may be a rewarding hobby. A butterfly garden may be a few containers of one or two butterfly-attracting plants or a very sizable garden with many different species to attract butterflies. To create a “butterfly friendly” environment, there are a few simple requirements: food, water, shelter and a place to reproduce…”
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