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Butterfly Garden - Homeowners - CB Prime Properties

Butterfly gardens are popular additions to Albany homes for sale as they decorate backyard spaces and delight children. Not only are these insects beautiful to observe, but they are also an integral part of the ecosystem as they pollinate plants. Fortunately, butterflies are easy to attract with the proper setup. Our real estate agents have compiled a simple guide below to help you start a unique butterfly garden.

  1. Select the Right Location
    Choose a sunny site in your backyard as butterflies love to bask and most plants that attract them love the sun too. Ensure that the winged beauties will receive sunlight for half the day.

    However, this area should be protected from the wind. If you can't find a sheltered spot, use dense conifers like cypress and spruce to plant a windbreak. If the soil is acidic or rocky, you may need to add compost or nutrient-rich topsoil.

  2. Add Plants
    An assortment of plants attracts butterflies, so you need to provide variety. Do some research on the native plants in your area to attract native butterflies. You can consult local horticulturists, visit nearby butterfly gardens, or research online. The plants you need are:
    • Host Plants
      Adult butterflies lay eggs on host plants, and they can be picky about the plants they prefer. Typically, butterflies lay eggs on the host plants that their larvae feed on. For example, monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed, which monarch caterpillars prefer.

      Some native host perennials for your Albany garden include aster, sunflower, false indigo, violet, and little bluestem. Birch, oak, ash, and blueberry are great trees to add.

    • Nectar Plants
      Add nectar- and pollen-rich plants and strongly scented flowers in blooms of mauve, pink, red, white, lavender, and other bright colors. Also, experiment with plants that blossom at different times to keep butterflies in the garden all through the season.

      Coneflower, tickseed, ironweed, butterfly weed, white yarrow, spotted Joe-Pye weed, stiff goldenrod, and the dense blazing star are great nectar sources. These native plants attract many butterflies, including black swallowtail, eastern tiger swallowtail, eastern tailed blue, painted lady, monarch, and silver-spotted skipper.

      Plant diversity is essential in a butterfly garden, and you should have shrubs, trees, perennials, vines, and even herbs. Add plants that reach different heights with varying blooming times to make your garden more attractive to butterflies.
  1. Provide Water
    Nectar doesn't provide adequate sodium for butterflies, and they need mineral-rich puddles for nourishment and reproduction. A shallow pan with water and dirt or sand at the bottom is an excellent addition to any butterfly garden. A damp area of ground filled with sand will also suffice as long as it's visible and protected from the wind.

  2. Shelter
    While trees and shrubs offer shade and resting areas, butterflies need shelter to protect against severe weather conditions and predators. You can fashion butterfly houses from wooden blocks with small openings and even paint yard art to decorate your butterfly garden. However, check on the house regularly to ensure there are no paper wasps.

  3. Add Rocks
    Butterflies love to rest on a warm rock in the morning and late afternoons. Several flat large rocks and stones allow insects to bask before they feed.

  4. Avoid Pesticides
    Most pesticides kill pollinators like butterflies. You may assume that organic pesticides are better, but they are also harmful to these beautiful insects and interrupt their mating and feeding habits. Instead, plant many native plants and include flowers that repel pests.

Butterflies don't need much, just host and nectar plants, sun, water, rocks, and shelter. Also, keep the garden pesticide-free, and avoid organic pesticides. Contact us today for more real estate tips to customize your home or get it ready to sell.

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