How To Attract Butterflies Into The Garden
Gardens can act as important stepping stones between nature reserves and other natural habitats by offering abundant supplies of nectar. Butterflies will visit any garden, however small as long as they can feed from suitable nectar rich plants. 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.
- Butterflies like warmth so choose sunny, sheltered spots when planting nectar rich plants.
- 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 dead heading flowers. Mulching plants with organic compost and careful watering will 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. Try finding a natural alternative such as Grab A Grub which will help clear pests but allow pollinators to continue to visit flowers safely.
- 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 many good alternatives available from garden centres.
Sadly, four butterflies and over sixty moths became extinct during the last century. Three-quarters of British butterflies are in decline and many moths are also facing an uncertain future.
To learn more about butterfly conservation and how you can help visit The Butterfly Conservation website.
Why Attract Moths Into The Garden?
Moths are often neglected or ignored in favour of their cousins the butterflies when considering which insects we want to encourage into our gardens. However, with around 2,500 species in the UK, moths can be an extremely diverse and interesting visitor to watch.
Moths are hugely important in the food chain for birds and bats. They are also good pollinators but there is increasing evidence that Britain's moths are in decline.