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All of the hard work you have put into making your garden a paradise can be such a rewarding feeling all on its own. But wouldn’t it be even more special if there were butterflies floating around your garden enjoying it with you? Follow these few quick tips for attracting butterflies to your garden and begin living in your very own fairy tale.

Step 1: Get the Butterflies to Your Garden

Butterflies want to be around certain plants and flowers, so if you want the butterflies to come to you, make them want it! There are many different plants and shrubs that attract butterflies. Here’s a small list to name a few:

Geranium
Marigold
Petunia
Echinacea purpurea
Hibiscus
Goldenrod
Joe Pye Weed
Catmint
Lavender
Ladybells

For a more complete list visit our Plants for Butterflies blog or talk to one of our gardening experts at our Ottawa garden centre!

Step 2: Keep the Butterflies in Your Garden

Butterflies require more than just an enticing flower in order to stick around. They need minerals found in damp soil, so if it hasn’t rained in a while be certain to water your garden and keep the soil moist. Just like any other living being butterflies also require shelter. Their required shelter during the day is mainly from the wind, so have your plants and shrubs close together to provide plenty of wind shelter. They also require heat from the sun to counteract the cool nights they have to endure outdoors. Position some flat rocks in and around your garden, they will absorb the suns natural heat and provide a fantastic heat pad for the butterflies to stretch out and soak up the sun. Make your garden a retreat for butterflies and they won’t want to go anywhere else.

Keep the Butterflies Coming Back Every Summer

If you want the butterflies to keep choosing your garden continue to create your butterfly paradise year after year. Let the butterflies know you care by having plants available that you know they will feel confident laying their eggs on, otherwise known as a host plant. Oftentimes a host plant is actually a tree which may be more difficult to incorporate into your garden, but there are a few plant options. Try planting some milkweed, fennel, dill or parsley in and around your garden. Once the butterfly decides on a host plant to lay their eggs and they’re ready to hatch the newly born caterpillars will eat the host plant. Keeping your garden a hospitable place year after year will ensure the butterflies continue to come to your garden.

Explore what methods work for you and enjoy the process of creating a butterfly haven in your backyard!

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