Tuesday, May 22, 2018

29 Jun

Create a Butterfly Haven…

You may often be torn between encouraging butterflies into your garden and discouraging caterpillars, but unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other! Caterpillars aren’t as destructive as gardeners think, you are unlikely to see caterpillars unless you go looking for them and they rarely group together.

Modern countryside is no longer a safe haven for butterflies, 70% of species are in danger and over half are threatened. This makes your garden an increasingly important sanctury for all types of butterflies and caterpillars!

Red Admiral, Comma, Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Painted Lady are the most common species of butterflies, you are likely to see them hovering around your nectar-rich plants throughout the summer. 

What you can do to help…

Plant Butterfly friendly plants including Buddleia, Asters, Lavendar, Hebe and Verbenas.

If you are keen to help butterflies, you need to also help caterpillars. Allow weeds, brambles and nettles to grow in small areas, dandelions attract a wide range of butterflies and caterpillars. Ivy and long grasses are the more attractive solution and will encourage lots of caterpillars into your garden.

Make space for hibernation. Wood piles and sheds are ideal, hold back on the shed-tidying from October-March. Ease up on tidying around the rest of the garden too, many caterpillars and pupae hibernate on the ground in dead foliage.

Butterflies need moisture to survive and will often feed from damp soil or fallen fruit. You can make it even easier for them by creating a butterfly ‘drinker.’ Simply fill a large plant saucer with a thin layer of sand, a few pebbles and water.

Grow a small patch of wild flowers, or just let your garden grow wild without interference. Long grass is ideal for many caterpillars. If you have room try to mow a strip into your wild patch, Browns butterflies lay eggs where short and long grass meet.

Send us your beautiful butterfly photographs! We’d love to see which butterflies you have inhabiting your garden… attach your photo as a JPEG and send it to gardenersblog@jerseyplantsdirect.com or simply post it on our Facebook wall here!


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