Dig It: Don't forget about spring nectar
Gardens can act as important stepping stones between nature reserves and other natural habitat by offering abundant supplies of nectar. Butterflies will visit any garden, however small, if they can feed from suitable nectar plants and a well thought out garden can attract up to 18 species of butterfly. If you manage your patch to create breeding habitat you may see even more.
Tips on how to attract butterflies
- Butterflies like warmth so choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting nectar plants.
- Choose different plants to attract a wider variety of species. Place the same types of plant together in blocks.
- Try to provide flowers right through the butterfly season. Spring flowers are vital for butterflies coming out of hibernation and Autumn flowers help butterflies build up their reserves for winter.
- Prolong flowering by deadheading flowers, mulching with organic compost, and watering well to keep the plants healthy. Plants that are well-watered will produce far more nectar for hungry butterflies.
- Don't use insecticides and pesticides. They kill butterflies and many pollinating insects as well as ladybirds, ground beetles and spiders.
- Don't buy peat compost. Peat bogs are home to many special animals and plants, including the Large Heath butterfly, which is declining across Europe. There are now good alternatives available from garden centres.
The best plants for summer nectar
What else can I plant in my garden?
What about improving my garden?
|Butterfly Conservation - Gardening|