Step 1: Conduct a butterfly survey. Find out what kinds of butterflies are in your area. Take notes on which types of plants they are visiting. Include some of these plants in your garden.
Step 2: Design around the sun and wind. Choose a sunny site(s) out of the wind. It is important that these sites be located in areas that receive sun most of the day because a vast majority of butterflies worship the sun. Butterflies use the sun to navigate by and to increase their body temperatures.
Step 3: Plant adult nectar sources. Butterflies need high-energy food sources such as nectar-producing flowers. Flowers with small, multiple flower heads (such as lantana) continually produce small amounts of nectar. Flowers with broad petals (such as coneflower) furnish butterflies with a "landing pad" where they can rest and sip nectar. Use a mix of flowers that will bloom from early spring to late fall.
Step 6: Use diversity, not pesticides. Pesticides kill butterflies. Butterfly gardening is next to impossible when pesticides are sprayed in the area. By planting a garden with many types of plant species you will have fewer pest problems. Plant diversity creates a "balanced garden."
Step 7: Accommodate nature. Butterflies evolved along with native plant communities. Plant a meadow area with tall native grasses and wildflowers. These plants provide food and shelter for butterflies. To maintain your wild patch cut it once at the end of the summer, every year or two.
Place the feeder in a semi-protected place where rain cannot dilute the nectar mixture in the end of the tube. Avoid direct sunlight as heat may cause the nectar to expand and be lost unnecessarily. Heat also enhances bacterial growth. If ants are attracted, moisten the hanging wire with salad oil. Bee guards prevent bees from using the feeder. Clusters of bees will keep hummers away.
Agastache, Alcea, Aquilegia, Asclepias, Buddleia, Columbine, Delphinium, Dicentra, Digitalis, Echinicea, Hemerocallis, Heuchera, Hibisicus, Hosta, Iris, Kniphofia, Lavandula, Lobelia, Monarda, Nepeta, Penstemon, Phlox, Physostegia, Salvia, Veronica
Canna, Cigar Plant, Cleome, Fuchsia, Impatiens, Lantana, Nicotiana, Petunia, Salvia, Verbena
Hibiscua, Dipladenia, Ixora, Jatropha, Mandevilla, Rusellia
Azalea, Cotoneaster, Quince, Lilac, Mimosa, Rose of Sharon, Weigela
Bouganvilla, Cardinal Climber, Clematis, Honeysuckle, Morning Glory, Scarlet Runner Bean, Trumpet Vine
Landscape plants provide both food and shelter for songbirds. It is good to create a landscape with many different species of plants...the more diversity you have the more songbirds you will attract. When choosing plants for your wildlife garden remember that some modern hybrids are sterile and may not produce seed or fruit. When possible plant native varieties.
Wild Black Cherry
Northern Red Oak
*Due to the destruction of Ash trees by the Emerald Ash Tree Borer please use caution when planting Ash.
Rocky Mtn. Juniper
Eastern White Pine
Japanese Black Pine
Colorado Blue Spruce
Please consult with your local nurseryman about appropriate substitutions for your area.