One of my favorite summer activities is to lay on my back in the grass with my 6 year old and watch the butterflies flutter around. It has taken a long time for us to create a butterfly garden, I wish I knew some of Katie's tips for attracting butterflies while we were waiting for our garden to grow.
Nothing looks lovelier than colorful butterflies fluttering around your yard and gardens. They are so graceful, provide so much color, and just add a natural and artistic element to your yard. You can easily summon these glorious creatures to your yard by planting butterfly attracting plants such as Butterfly Bush, Lilacs, and Prickly Ash, but what if you don’t have the space in your budget or your yard to do so? These plants can run you as high as $50.00 if you buy a mature, potted variety. If this is too steep for you but you still wish to attract butterflies to your yard, take a look at some of the easy and frugal ways you can use items you already have around the house to beckon them to come visit!
Monarchs, Painted Ladies, and Streak varieties of butterflies are all fairly common all over the country. Attracting butterflies is actually quite simple once you understand their likes and dislikes. And while filling your yard with butterfly attracting plants sounds delightful, it just may not fit your landscaping budget at the time. Instead, read more about how you can attract butterflies for little to no monetary investment.
1. Place “butterfly brew” in your yard.
Most butterflies are looking for a snack high in minerals. Whip up a brew of rotting fruit, fruit drink, and brown sugar. Just mix into a water slurry and place in shallow dishes. Lids to butter dishes are perfect to put this mixture in. Place in your landscaping and butterflies are sure to come by for a sip. Toss any brew that is left after three days and replace with a fresh batch. Here is how to make Butterfly Nectar.
2. Repurpose your bird feeders.
You can use your bird feeders to feed butterflies too! Choose a hanging feeder that is smaller in size. Take a rotting banana, mash it up, and place it on the feeder. You can also try filling feeders (such as hummingbird feeders) with the butterfly brew you made. Use feeders you already have or grab a few at your local dollar store. Your yard will be their favorite eatery!
3. Oranges are a sure thing.
Freshly-squeezed navel oranges are one of their favorite treats. You can also place sliced oranges out for them to snack on. If you do, make sure you take a knife and run it across the orange so that the butterflies can get to the juice easily. One orange goes a long way, so you don’t need to worry about buying a great deal of oranges. Just grab an extra one on your trip to the market. Here are more ways to use citrus in your yard.
4. Make fruit ornaments.
You can hang pieces of spoiled fruit on yarn or string and hang from your bushes. Some fruits that are ideal are bananas, pears, and even watermelon. Butterflies are attracted to the rotting fruit and will feel like they have hit an all you can eat buffet! Toss any fruit left after three days and replace with a new batch. Another bonus? You may get some fun variety of birds too wanting to dine.
5. Butterflies love Gatorade.
Who knew? Many gardeners swear that by placing watermelon flavored Gatorade in shallow dishes they are able to attract butterflies to their gardens. The color and sweetness appeal to them. Can you blame them? Gatorade can typically be found for less than $1.00 a bottle, so give it a try and watch them flock!
6. Place salt pellets out.
Butterflies like the minerals in salt pellets, so try sprinkling them amongst your plants. Just use a few at a time and see what kind of results you get. Salt pellets should be pure salt pellets, not a melting variety that has chemicals of any kind in it. Salt pellets can be found at home improvement stores and garden centers for around $5.00 a bag.
More Tips for Attracting Butterflies to Your Yard:
When trying any trick that requires a dish, remember to make it very shallow. Butterflies can easily drown if the dish is too deep. Look for lids and small drink caps as ideal feeders. You can even set a chunk of sponge on the middle of the dish, as some butterflies will prefer to press their long tongue to the sponge and soak up the liquid that way.
As long as the weather is warm and the food dishes are full, butterflies should continue to visit your yard well into the fall. They are so fun to observe and can make your outdoor space more colorful and interesting! Forget about spending big bucks on butterfly attracting plants, not to mention all of the time it takes to care for them, and give these budget friendly butterfly attractive tips a try.