Friday, March 9, 2018 • Infographics

Gardening for Hummingbirds and Butterflies

There are few things more serene and satisfying than looking out at your garden during spring and seeing hummingbirds and butterflies visiting your plants. By providing hummingbirds with the food mixture they prefer, as well as planting some common types of plants to attract them, you’ll be seeing the tiny birds near your house in no time. Similarly, butterflies are busy pollinators that are attracted to specific flowers and greenery. Explore which plants they love most, so you can get set to enjoy the magical insects in your garden this year.

Gardening to Attract Hummingbirds

The simplest way to attract hummingbirds to your garden is by providing them with feeders full of their favorite concoction, which is a water and sugar mixture. The proper mixture is one cup of sugar to every four cups of water. That’s it! It’s important to keep that balance of 1:4, otherwise too much sugar could damage the bird’s liver or create other digestive issues for them.

Also, it’s vital that you clean your hummingbird feeders with soap and water frequently. At minimum, feeders need to be cleaned weekly, but it’s more ideal to clean them every 3 days. This applies even when the feeders are not completely empty. Otherwise, harmful bacteria get into the water mixture and can cause major health problems for the birds when they drink it.

Explore common plants that will also attract hummingbirds to your garden:

• Paintbrush
• Iris
• Lantana
• Scabiosa
• Petunia
• Liatris
• Phlox
• Nasturtium
• Nicotiana
• Salvia
• Penstemon
• Lily
• Petunia
• Sage
• Scarlet sage
• Lupine

Common Plants that Attract Butterflies

First, it’s important to recognize that there are numerous different types of butterflies! Butterflies come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. At first, you may only notice the super vibrantly colored butterflies in your garden, but eventually you’ll see that there are smaller varieties, such as the Sleepy Orange, too.

Planting specific types of herbs, shrubs, and plants is the best way to attract butterflies to your garden. Different species will be attracted to specific types of greenery, similar to how birds and bees are attracted to specific types of flowers. If you’re looking to attract a specific kind of butterfly, explore this comprehensive index which will help your efforts.

Review this list of common plants that will attract butterflies to your garden:

• Alyssum
• Lavender
• Aster
• Globe thistle
• Bee balm
• Dianthus
• Fennel
• Goldenrod
• Butterfly bush
• Daylily
• Calendula
• Hollyhock
• Delphinium
• Cosmos
• Liatris

Helpful Gardening Practices & Tips

• Consider using only organic gardening methods to lessen the effects of harmful chemicals and toxins to wildlife.

• Plant a wide variety of different types of plants, like those listed above, for a greater chance at attracting these amazing pollinators. The more variety you offer them, the better your chances are of seeing them in your garden.

• Butterflies often seek refuge from their predators in places like old tree limbs and shrubs where they can easily hide. If you were thinking about throwing away that dead tree trunk in your yard, consider thinking again if you want to see more butterflies around your house!

By following the suggested practices above to attract pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies, you’ll be enjoying these cheerful creatures in no time. Remember to provide them with proper food care, the type of plants they’re attracted to, and offer them places of shelter from predators. Happy gardening this spring!

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