Butterflies

Butterflies can be fluttering about as early as February and as late as November so it is important to plant up some early spring flowers to give them a bit of a spring boost of nectar. You can also build up an in-house menagerie of butterflies by planting ivies and other evergreens, where they like to hibernate. Sheds and garage nooks can also be popular bolt holes.

In the spring, butterflies will lay their eggs and several species particularly favour nettles as nesting abodes so it is wise and wily to leave some patches of nettles in your site and to cut them back in the autumn to encourage new spring growth.One of the earliest emergents is the primrose yellow Brimstone butterfly. To attract this beauty, plant buckthorn, which the early riser likes to lay eggs upon.

In the autumn, butterflies love fallen fruits so if you have any fruit trees don’t worry too much about clearing all of the windfall.

Many butterfly friendly plants are wild flowers so it could be a good idea to plant up wild flower patches amongst your site. It is worth taking note that butterflies aren’t especially fond of the wind so try to build up nectar and pollen rich sources in sheltered spots. In the summer, it can also be helpful to provide a saucer of water for the thirsty flutterers.

Butterfly friendly nectar sources …

Early

Dandelion

Forget-me-not

Primrose

Pussy willow

Scilla

Mid-season

Lemon balm

Marjoram

Mint

Wallflower

Teasal

Thistle

Valerian

Late

Bramble

Buddleia

Michaelmas daisy

Scabious

Sedum

Sunflower

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