16 Mar 2017 No Comments
Kids love butterflies. And who can blame them? Talk about excitement, there’s nothing sweeter than watching the fluttering wings of a butterfly in action, knowing they’re making one of the most important contributions in nature. these kids had a ball! Kids get it. So why not help them create their very own butterfly garden?
Which plants will attract butterflies?
Glad you asked. Bright colors will attract the butterfly as well as sweet delicious nectar. It also makes it easy for them to find you! Best colors? The brightest, of course! Be sure to include bright red, yellow and orange, pinks and purples, too.
Nectar plants are a “must-have” in your butterfly garden, but you can also include non-nectar plants like milkweed and daisies. Butterflies enjoy them, and it gives them a place to lay their eggs. Another hint for success?
Keep your flowers close together if possible. It helps focus the attention of both children and butterflies. In this Montessori garden, we chose the butterfly bush (for obvious reasons), orange and pink pentas, pink and purple petunias, orange-yellow crossandra, sunset gold lantanas and various shades of ixora.
Other good choices would be zinnas, marigold, coneflower, lilac, impatients and asters. Really hard to go wrong, just check what grows best in your area.
And make sure the kids are hands-on. As you can see, they are amazing when it comes to the garden and quite capable when it comes to the business of transplanting.
With one simple instruction on how-to dig a hole slightly larger than your flower container, they can gently pull the plant free, supporting the stem with one hand and the root ball with the other, then place it into the awaiting hole. Encourage them to lightly pack the dirt back in around it and water thoroughly.
In no time your garden will be filled with bright and lively color, and do you know what? Butterflies will find you by the end of the day. Now listen, don’t let this shady photo fool you. In Florida, fast-moving weather changes are one of those things in life you can count on. Bearing in mind that most butterfly garden flowers prefer full sun, we never worry about a little cloud cover. We welcome the shade! Especially considering our type of heat.
And speaking of heat, include some stones near your garden to capture and retain the sun’s heat–butterflies like soaking in the rays. They also like splashing in puddles, so create a small “pond” nearby for them to drink up. After all, you don’t want them leaving this beautiful enclave for a water trip, do you?
No way! We don’t want them flitting anywhere but here. Now what are YOU waiting for? Get busy and send out the invites! You’ll have butterflies fluttering around your yard in no time.