Butterfly Garden Design
Step by Step

Creating a butterfly garden design is really quite easy.

Here is a step by step guide to help you plan a butterfly garden that will attract butterflies to your backyard.

butterfly garden design

Favorite Butterfly Garden Plants and Flowers

First of all, you need to find out what kind of plants and flowers attract butterflies. This will vary according to where you live, the climate and what kind of butterflies are found in your area. butterfly garden design

The best butterfly garden plan includes a combination of both host plants (caterpillar food) and nectar flowers.

This allows you to have a chance to observe the miraculous life cycle of the butterfly.

You can even bring the egg or caterpillar on the host plant inside your house and see the butterfly stages close-up. This is a fantastic experience for the entire family!

Plants for Butterfly Gardens
Perennial or Annual?

What kind of butterfly garden plants should you include in a garden for butterflies ....perennials or annuals?

Perennials come up every year and therefore are more carefree.

Annuals need to be planted every year, but have the advantage that they usually bloom longer, often all summer. It is best to have a combination of annuals and perennials in your butterfly garden design.

If you would like to save some money, you can grow your butterfly garden from seed. This takes some patience, though, because some of the perennials take quite a while before they are flowering plants.

Layout for Butterfly Garden

Where do you place the butterfly plants and flowers in your garden for butterflies?

Use graph paper to layout the plants keeping in mind the following considerations....

Put the taller plants toward the back of a border or in the middle of a circular butterfly garden so it will be easier to observe the activities of the butterflies in your garden. Note the mature width of plants so you leave enough room for plants to grow.

It is best to repeat flowers throughout your butterfly garden plan or place several plants in a group so the butterfly can easily find them.

Note the bloom color and bloom time of the flowers when you are deciding where to place the plants.

Designing Butterfly Garden to Bloom All Season

butterfly garden design

Find out when each of the flowers bloom that you are considering for your butterfly garden design. Create a mix of perennials and annuals that will bloom and attract butterflies the entire season.

The butterflies LOVE native flowers and plants!

Study which butterfly flowers are native to your area and add them to your garden. They have the added benefit of usually being easy to care for and very hardy.

Monarch Butterfly Garden

My favorite butterfly to attract in a butterfly garden is the monarch butterfly. They are very beautiful, interesting to observe and easy to raise. Include something from the milkweed family of plants to attract the egg-laying female.

I discuss this plant in detail on the above link. There are annual and perennial milkweeds from which to choose. Milkweed is also a favorite nectar plant for many butterflies.

Preparing the Butterfly Home Garden

Choose an area that receives sun most of the day for your butterfly garden design. Butterflies need warmth to fly and most butterfly plants and flowers require sun. It would be great to locate the garden so you can view it from your window or patio.

Use stakes to mark it off, remove the sod and prepare your garden soil before you plant. Add lots of compost and/or peat moss to your soil to create a rich growing medium for your flowers and plants. This is one step which many people skip and then, later regret.

Caring for Butterfly Garden

Keep new plants and especially seedlings well-watered so their roots can take hold and become well-established.

Add compost periodically or natural fertilizer to improve the soil. Do not use chemicals in the garden as they can harm butterflies.

Butterfly Garden Decor and More

butterfly garden design

Consider adding a large rock as a "sunning" area for the butterflies.

Create an area for "puddling" where butterflies gather to get the minerals they need by forming a shallow "bowl" in the ground, cover the bottom with plastic and fill with wet sand.

Also, a butterfly garden bench would be a great addition so you can observe butterfly activity "up close".

Now the fun part ....relax and enjoy the beauty of the butterflies that you will attract using this easy butterfly garden design.

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