Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden

Butterflies are one of the chief pollinators of your garden, and a healthy population flitting around your prized flowers would certainly benefit the longevity of your garden, as well as give it an aesthetic lift. Attracting butterflies isn't as simple as baiting them with flowering plants. Here are some ways to go about it: 

Go for native species
It's easiest to attract butterfly species that are native to your locality or region, having evolved over time to adapt to the climate, environment and, particularly, to native flowers. The blooming seasons and palatability of native flowers suit their respective co-evolving butterfly species, attracting them naturally. Besides, it's easier to find, grow and maintain native flowers than others.

Make sure you cater to the butterflies' entire life-cycle
A common mistake gardeners make is to neglect or even take measures against caterpillars in the garden. Without these admittedly less pretty critters, there won't be any new butterflies to maintain the population. Make sure you have the right variety of plants that caterpillars eat, too, such as milkweed. Also, avoid clearing the garden during the off-season, as many butterflies tend to hibernate or rest until the next bloom.

Avoid insecticides as far as possible
Although it's easier to deal with pests with chemical deterrents, it's best to let nature take its course when you're looking out for benign species in the garden. Insecticides generally kill all insects indiscriminately. Even organic ones could critically dent your butterfly populace, and it's better to hold off until absolutely necessary.

The best way to go about attracting butterflies to your garden is to go au naturel, as explained above. Let nature work its magic and you'll have a healthy garden alive with these spectacular pollinators.

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