Mary's Plants & Landscaping

Why Butterfly Gardens

Florida is home to many butterflies and many of them can’t be found anywhere else on earth. There are over 200 species of Florida butterflies

To attract native florida butterflies, your garden must provide plenty of food for both adult butterflies and their caterpillars. Butterflies will drink nectar from a variety of flowering plants but their caterpillars are often very picky about what they eat. 

Essential Pieces of a Native Florida Butterfly Garden

Adult nectar sources: attract and provide sustenance for adult butterflies

Larval host plants: attract female butterflies and serve as a great food source for developing larvae

Shelter: Plants/Trees/Shrubs that provide protection from extremes in temperature, wind/rain, and predators. Not to mention that even butterflies sleep sometimes

Consistent Water source: easy access to water for drinking and keeping themselves cool

Design Your Garden For Native Florida Butterflies

A wide variety of flowers is better than having only a couple of sorts. Butterflies are pulled in to brilliantly hued, basic blossoms with great spots to roost. To ensure that nectar is consistently accessible, pick your flowers so something is consistently in bloom.

Provide a combination of adult nectar sources and larval host plants

Incorporate native plants into the landscape whenever possible

Create horizontal and vertical heterogeneity

Aim for a consistent host plant and floral venue throughout the growing season

Provide a number of different flower colors

Provide a mix of flower shapes

Plant in shade as well as full sun

Plant in groupings

Choose appropriate plants for each location

Florida Butterfly Garden Maintenance

Pick the right plants for your garden so that you won’t have to use fertilizers or pesticides that might harm your native Florida butterflies and the environment.

Give new plants a good start: Baby your butterfly plants in the beginning. It won’t take long for them to adapt to the environment but some plants take a minute to adjust.
Natural Fertilizers: Find out what types of fertilizer your plants need to thrive. If they like nitrogen provide a native plant that produces nitrogen.
Avoid pesticide application when possible: Butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalis are all very sensitive to pesticides. If a pest problem arises, treat it locally and try to use natural predators.

Learn the butterfly species in your garden because it’s way more fun when you learn what to look for. Pick your favorites and collect them all. There are more than 200 species of Florida butterflies.

The Benefits of a Native Florida Butterfly Garden

The most obvious benefit is that you’ll see more wildlife. Butterflies and other beneficial native Florida wildlife are attracted to the plants that belong in their natural home. A lot of this wildlife needs native Florida plants to survive and thrive. 

Possibly the most important reason: ecosystem/habitat conservation. Your garden should be a representative sample of the surrounding habitat and provide a safe haven for butterflies and other wildlife to gather, acquire food and water, seek shelter, and reproduce. 

 

A less talked about benefit of a native Florida butterfly is that it’s therapeutic. Sitting in your garden is peaceful and relaxing and is proven to help you relax. Butterflies are good for your soul!

There are practical benefits as well:

  • Native Plants are easier to grow
  • Native Plants are less expensive to maintain
  • Provide food for natural pest enemies

Landscaping design that is easy to maintain and attracts native Florida butterflies.