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
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
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.
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.