A butterfly garden teaches children about life cycles, as well as building an appreciation for the environment. Butterfly gardening is all about creating a natural habitat for wildlife. However, the first step is to stop using dangerous insecticides that kill butterflies, as well as other beneficial insects. Then, you will have a clean slate for growing butterfly host plants, as well as butterfly nectar plants.
Children love butterfly gardens because they can spot the eggs the adult female butterflies deposit on the host plants, as well as the caterpillar larvae that form into chrysalises. When the adult butterflies emerge, it’s a spectacular moment for wide-eyed children. Even if you miss the exact moment, it’s fun for kids to frolic in a butterfly garden. They can even learn to identify the different ones. Best of all, butterfly gardening teaches children patience.
Beginning Your Butterfly Gardening: Start the Plants Indoors
It’s somewhat challenging to start some butterfly plants indoors because they are more like weeds. Butterflies also like some bushes and plants. At the same time, you can grow some butterfly attractor plants in tiny pots inside your home during the winter. Some hardy flowers that butterflies love include asters, zinnia, cosmos, purple coneflower and Black-Eyed Susans.
Design a Path Through a Natural Habitat
You can start butterfly gardening with your children in the front or backyard. In fact, it’s best to choose an area for butterflies that love the shade, as well as a sunny area for butterflies that congregate in the sun. Some staple trees or bushes include flowering dogwood, lemon trees, butterfly bush, oak and bay trees.
To attract specific butterflies such as monarchs, grow plenty of milkweeds. To attract Zebra Longwing, grow a passion vine. Dod your research to learn about the native butterflies in your area and what they like.
In addition to plants, show your children how to create puddles for the butterflies to drink water. Most butterflies like shallow sources of water. Also, it’s fun to make a gravel path leading to a sitting area in the shade.
Reading in a butterfly garden or just taking time out from a hectic day teaches children how to relax, unwind and handle stress. For more family-friendly home and garden tips, talk to your local native plant nursery or check out books at the local library with your children.
Butterfly gardening teaches many important lessons to children, but adults can learn lots, too. And thankfully, you have lots of resources at your fingertips to help. Explore the world of butterflies with your children for an unforgettable experience.