Tip 5

How do i attract butterflies


spring days

As we enjoy the first sunny days of spring you will also see butterflies appearing once again. Life is returning to the garden!


Butterflies in search of nectar

Butterflies are looking for nectar. To attract as many of these flutterers as possible, you want plants that produce plenty of nectar. A well-known plant is the butterfly-bush (Budleja), which is also called autumn lilac because the inflorescence of the butterfly-bush looks very similar to that of the lilac.

Lilacs and butterfly-bushes have evolved to form flowers for pollination by butterflies in particular. The nectar can’t be reached by most other insects due to the narrow flower tube. But butterflies have their long rolling tongue! Diurnal butterflies are attracted by the irresistible colours of lilacs, from white to dark purple and all shades of colours in between. The moths, in turn, are guided by the fragrance that betrays the location of the nectar from afar. Diurnal butterflies need the warmth of the sun to fly. So they will be predominant in the sunny spots in your garden. Keep this in mind when planting your shrubs!

A good butterfly garden flowers in various seasons and offers a selection of nectar from spring through to autumn. Vary your planting by combining lilacs with other butterfly enticers such as Verbena, Salvia, Echinacea and Lavandula for example. Variation ensures more butterfly species visit your garden. With a bit of luck you will soon be able to enjoy the hovering Humming-moths probing flowers with their long tongues, or the large Swallowtail with all its wonderful colours.