Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Butterflies are Beautiful

Butterfly plants are both beautiful and useful in and around Kerrville, Texas. Butterflies need four elements for survival:

  • Shelter
  • Water
  • Food
  • Place to raise their young

A natural garden in your yard will encourage butterflies to congregate, making your natural area more beautiful with their graceful colors. Shelter and protection will be available here in the form of shrubs, trees, tall grasses, even a stack of logs or limestone.

There should be some area that is protected from winds by shrubs, trees or even a vine filled lattice wall. Trees and hollow logs provide protection and encourage butterflies to lay eggs. This is the perfect spot for a butterfly's metamorphosis from caterpillar to pupa to a "flying flower".

A small fountain, bath or bond is necessary for moisture. It does not have to be large or ornate, simply  provide enough water for emerging butterfly families. A few large, flat rocks allow places for sunning.

By depending on native plants, we encourage butterflies to our area by having their natural food available. Trumpet honeysuckle, cross vine, salvias, sages,  verbenas and zinnias are some nectar plants that are appealing to butterflies.

Use irrigation for any watering, rather than a sprinkler that will wash needed nectar from flowers. Do not use pesticides in or around any natural areas. Eliminate fire ants with boiling water as they will be predators on the butterfly larvae.

Now, sit back, enjoy, even grab a camera, as your natural butterfly garden comes to life this summer.

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