Butterfly gardening tips
The monarch population has declined by 90% in the last few decades. Due to this decline in their numbers, they are now almost considered an endangered species. To help combat this issue, you can follow these tips.
1. Plant host plants- host plants are where butterflies lay their eggs. After the eggs, hatch and the caterpillars emerge these host plants are their first and only food source until they complete the metamorphosis process and become butterflies.
2. Plant continuously flowering native plants- Once the metamorphosis process is complete and the adult butterflies emerge, they are going to need a food source. This food source is nectar from flowering plants. Planting a mix of flowers that bloom from spring thru the fall helps ensure there is a food source available for the butterflies. All nectar is not created equally. Area specific, native plants are preferred.
3. Discontinue the use of herbicides and pesticides- Using these chemicals puts the caterpillars and butterflies at risk. Pesticides kill the insects while the herbicides kill native plants.
4. Provide shelter- Planting shrubs or patches of taller flowers gives the butterflies a place to hide from predators and escape bad weather. Also, they can rest and bathe in the sun.
5. Puddling- Provide an area for puddling. Puddling is the process of drinking and extracting the minerals from the muddy water. Combine sand, dirt, organic compost and water to create the ideal mud, puddling pool.
Following these tips, we can help alter the fate of the monarchs and other butterflies.