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7 Ways to Attract Monarch Butterflies
Posted on: Wednesday, June 22, 2016
7 Ways to Attract Monarch Butterflies:
Monarch conservation is important for many reasons. First, conserving and creating monarch habitat will help many of our pollinators. Every third bite of food we eat comes to our table courtesy of a pollinator. Monarchs, bees and many other pollinators share much of the same habitat—so what happens to monarchs, happens to other pollinators. Monarchs are an indicator of the damage done to our environment. We need to protect all of our pollinators—the many bees, birds, bats, and other insects that provide us with pollinator-services and ultimately put food on our table. Do you like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries? How about watermelon, apples, bananas or squash? Chocolate? Then thank a pollinator!
- 1. Ditch the pesticides. This doesn't mean you can't do pest control in your garden, but certain pesticides, particularly malathion, Sevin, and diazinon, will kill butterflies.
• Spray only on days without wind: protect butterflies, birds, bees, other beneficial insects and wildlife.
• Avoid spraying an open flowers. Spray just before bud break. Apples: spray when pinholes on small fruit appear. Pear Blight: follow special instructions.
• Spray at dawn, dusk or at night.
• Systemic insecticides translocate to flowers and can harm pollinators, even when just applied to soil.
- 2. Grow native plants. It's ultimately better for the planet, provides you with the easiest to care for crops and it will support pollinators and other local fauna that have evolved.
- 3. Keep the sun in mind. Even if you have a small patch of land or a balcony, if it gets good sun, you could help support butterflies. There is a reason we often associate butterflies with gorgeous sunny days; they typically only feed in full sun. A pebble patio, stone wall, gravel path or big rock with a flat surface will do the trick.
- 4. Plant the right colors. Butterflies like bright colors. Think red, yellow, orange, pink and purple. And make sure the blossoms are flat-topped or have short flowering tubes.
- 5. Create buttefly spas. They prefer to rest in full sun and water. They love puddling, which is basically hanging out in damp sand or mud where they drink a little water and mineralize. You can create specific puddling spots for the butterflies by filling shallow dishes or pans with sand and a bit of water and placing them in sunny spots in your yard. Add a pinch of salt and a slice of citrus for extra nutrients for butterflies.
- 6. Shelter - for wind and rain protection. Create a windbreak made of plants that also provide nectar. Woodpiles, eaves and the leaves of bushes and trees can serve as protection on rainy days.
- 7. We recommend the following plants for common butterflies: For additional plants, visit any one of our SummerWinds Nursery locations and speak with our resident experts.