How-To Project: Creating a Butterfly Garden Iowa City IA

Swallowtail larvae feed on dill, fennel, and parsley. Butterflies bring an added dimension to your landscape in Iowa City. Lured by scent and color, they visit certain plants to feed on nectar, a sugary solution containing the carbohydrates that butterflies need for energy. Create a welcoming landscape by including butterfly-friendly plants and features.

Lewis Brothers Tree Farm & Nursery
(319) 828-4569
1786 Iwv Rd SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
 
Heirloom Gardens
(515) 996-2466
29154 360th Street
Van Meter, IA
 
Garden Center
(641) 942-6229
17379 Highway 658
Milo, IA

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Olson Bros Sodding & Landscaping
(319) 377-5877
2127 Hindman Rd
Cedar Rapids, IA
 
Earl May Nursery & Garden Center
(515) 432-5941
1504 S Marshall St
Boone, IA

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Seed Savers Exchange
(563) 382-5990
3094 N. Winn Road
Decorah, IA
 
Robert's Landscaping
(319) 270-2650
520 E Linn St
Cedar Rapids, IA
 
Des Moines Seed & Nursery Co
(515) 274-2586
6015 Grand Ave
Des Moines, IA
 
Augustine Tree Farm
(515) 285-7782
4946 SW 42nd St
Des Moines, IA
 
Fleming Wholesale & Retail Nursery
(319) 393-9229
7900 Peterman Ln
Cedar Rapids, IA
 
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How-To Project: Creating a Butterfly Garden


Swallowtail larvae feed on dill, fennel, and parsley.

Butterflies bring an added dimension to your landscape. Lured by scent and color, they visit certain plants to feed on nectar, a sugary solution containing the carbohydrates that butterflies need for energy. Create a welcoming landscape by including butterfly-friendly plants and features.

Tools and Materials

  • butterfly-attracting flowers
  • large, flat rock
  • water source
  • one or more trees or shrubs

1. Choose a site that has some sun but is also sheltered from wind. Include a few trees and shrubs for roosting at night and for cooling off on the hottest days.

2. Add one or two large, flat rocks in the sun so butterflies a place to bask when mornings are cool.

3. Since butterflies cannot drink from open water, provide them with a "puddle" by filling a container, such as an old birdbath, with wet sand where they can perch and drink safely.

4. Add nectar plants, including aster, black-eyed Susan, butterfly bush, buttefly weed, cosmos, ironweed, Joe-Pye weed, phlox, purple coneflower, sedum, and zinnia.

Tips

Include food plants for the larvae, including dill, fennel, milkweed, and parsley. Different butterfly larvae feed on different plants, so research the butterflies native to your region to determine what to plant.

Remember that butterfly larvae are caterpillars. Learn to distinguish the larvae of butterflies you're trying to attract from from pest species. Minimize the use of pesticides to protect butterfly larvae and adults.

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