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Butterfly Garden

We have such beautiful butterflies near us and I’ve been wanting to create a butterfly garden for a while but haven’t been able to make the time to, not only start it, but maintain it. I’ve started slowly this past month.

So far, I’ve been able to create several permanent puddles for them to drink from because they cannot drink from open or deep water. I sunk three plastic containers in the dirt and filled them with small rocks (I’ve read sand is good but I didn’t have any) and water. The rocks give them a place to perch while they drink. I also have a tea cup saucer filled with small rocks, pebbles and water. I’ve read that they like stale beer or sweet drinks and overripe fruit, allowed to sit for a few days. Also someone suggested mushing a banana a little, poking a few holes, pouring in a little watermelon Gatorade and putting it in a hanging bird feeder.

One of the reasons I started with the puddles first is that when we had the pool screened in, it cut off the butterflies from being able to drink from the poolside puddles, which they would do often. I felt bad that I took that away from them so as soon as I started seeing them come back this year, I got to work. I have a picture from last year, of a butterfly drinking by our pool…as soon as I scan it, I’ll post it here.

I haven’t been able to plant anything for them yet. Both times I went shopping, they were out of the plants I wanted. I came across this list of Florida plants and I printed it out and took it with me to the store. I’m going to try and put most of the plants in a hanging basket, in full sun instead of in the ground.

FLORIDA PLANTS AND FLOWERS FOR BUTTERFLIES
Adult nectar sources (N) – attract and nourish adult butterflies.
Larval host plants (H) – food source for developing larvae.

•Cape Sable Whiteweed, Ageratum iittoraie N
•Climbing Aster, Aster carolinianus N
•Browne’s Blechum, Blechum pyramidatum H
•False Nettle, Boehmeria cylindrica H
•American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana N
•Partridge Pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata H
•Florida Fiddlewood, Citharexylum spinosum N
•Blue Mistflower, Conoclinium coelestinum N
•Curacao Bush, Cordia globosa H
•Golden Dewdrops, Duranta erecta N
•Coastal Mock Vervain, Glandularia maritima N
•Firebush, Hamelia patens N
•Railroad Vine, Ipomoea pes-caprae N
•Shrub Verbena, Lantana depressa N
•Buttonsage, Lantana involucrata N
•Southern Bayberry (Wax Myrtle), Myrica cerifera H
•Corkystemed Passionflower, Passiflora suberasa H
•Pentas, Pentas lanceolata N
•Red Bay, Persea borbonia H
•Florida Keys Blackbead, Pitheceliobium keyense H
•Doctorbush (White Plumbago), P1umbago scandens N
•Wild Coffee, Psychotria nervosa N
•Live Oak, Quercus virginiana H
•White Indigoberry, Randia aculeata H
•Fogfruit (Capeweed), Rhyla nodiflora N
•Cabbage Palm (Sabal Palm), Sabal palmatto N
•Privet Wild Sensitive Plant, Senna ligustrina H
•Chapman’s Wild Sensitive Plant, Senna mexicana H
•Yellow Necklacepod, Sophora tomentosa H
•Nettleleaf Velvetberry (Porterweed), Stachytarpheta urticifolia N
•Wild Lime, Zanthoxylum fagara H

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