Kelly Lehman is the owner of Cranbury Fields Flower Farm and shows everyday gardeners how to grow amazing flowers on her Youtube Channel.
How to Attract Pollinators to Your Garden
Growing a pollinators' garden is not only beautiful, but it's also beneficial to every garden. You can easily attract butterflies to your garden with a few plants and some fruit.
These plants not only attract butterflies, but they also attract honeybees, leafcutter bees, hummingbirds, hummingbird moths, and a whole bunch of other pollinators. The first step to successfully attracting butterflies is to plant plants that attract pollinators.
1. Plant a Butterfly Bush
The first plant that is great at attracting butterflies is called the butterfly bush. It's super easy to grow in your garden. You can prune it back at the end of winter or early spring, but you don't have to. Whether or not you prune it, the beautiful stems come in on new growth and grow beautiful blooms.
2. Plant Self-Seeding Echinacea
Another plant that pollinators love is echinacea. Echinacea is a super easy flower to grow, and it self-seeds. These plants will spread out in your garden each year, and you'll just get more and more plants every year.
3. Plant Milkweed for Monarchs
One of the most important plants for a pollinators' garden is milkweed. Monarch butterflies love milkweed. It is their number one host plant where they lay their eggs. They'll wind up hanging out in your garden nonstop if there's milkweed planted there.
If you have an opportunity to pick up a milkweed plant, know that if you put it in your garden and it gets established, it will self-seed. I basically bought like one or two milkweed plants, and it self-seeded, and now I have about 70 of them. They may take over your garden, but I leave mine in place because I want to have monarch butterflies every year.
4. Watermelon and Fruit
I also like to put some watermelon in the garden because butterflies love watermelon. Sometimes I also add a little hunk of honey and an overripe banana. Butterflies will come and sit on the fruit and suck up all the juice from it. The fruit juice almost acts like nectar for them. I put a little bit of water in the bottom of the dish to keep from having a ton of ants crawling on the fruit. The water on the bottom of the dish acts as a moat.
I always make sure to bring the fruit inside at night because I don't want to attract animals like raccoons that might come out once they smell that food.
Keep Pollinators Coming Back to Your Garden Every Year
Go out to your butterfly garden at any time during the day to watch your butterflies. They are especially active when it's sunny out because butterflies love the sun. Like that's their thing, that's their go-to. They want to be in the sunshine. So on sunny mornings, my garden is packed with butterflies and moths. It's just a really beautiful thing to have a pollinator garden, especially for butterflies.
Butterfly bushes, echinacea, and milkweed are only some of the flowers that I grow to attract pollinators. But I know that zinnias and marigolds will also attract butterflies. There are also several late-blooming flowers that will help keep pollinators visiting your garden well into fall.
Once you plant those plants in your garden, and you get the garden started with a little bit of fruit, that will get them used to coming to your garden, and chances are they'll come back year after year. I hope you enjoyed this garden tip. Happy gardening!
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© 2021 Kelly Lehman