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Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
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Date Archives: March 7th, 2022

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March
7

Follow These Steps for a Beautiful Butterfly Garden

Creating a Butterfly Garden - Coach Realtors

Planting a butterfly garden has many rewards. Chief among them, of course, are visitations by these extravagantly beautiful fluttering insects that all of us, from children and upwards, delight in. But there's also the enjoyment you'll feel at creating an attractively landscaped garden with interesting plants and eye-catching colors and foliage.

Perhaps the biggest reward, however, is that you'll be helping butterflies in the area of Nassau county homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale by way of countering some of the hardships that are besetting these fascinating insects nationwide: principally, loss of habitat.

What to Plant in Your Butterfly Garden

Before launching your butterfly garden, visit some local nurseries and talk to a staff member knowledgeable in local butterflies and their needs. You might also go to a local public butterfly garden such as Floral Park Centennial Garden, where an expert can advise you on local plants for your garden.

When you visit a nursery, you'll see a wide variety of plants labeled "butterfly attractor" or "butterfly plant." Many of these plants, such as members of the Buddleia genus, are great butterfly-attracting plants. The problem with some of them is that they are non-native and have become invasive since being introduced to the United States. So if at all possible, concentrate on acquiring native plants. These are plants that butterflies from this region evolved with and find most nourishing.

Then, there's the matter of choosing pollen-bearing plants for energy and planting other species for caterpillar food. Flowers are, of course, the main source of nectar, which helps migratory butterflies such as monarchs make their way to warmer climates in the winter. But the flowering nectar plants will be different from the plants you plant for caterpillar food. The latter are plants that will attract the butterfly when seeking to lay eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars eat the leaves, then turn into a chrysalis and, eventually, a butterfly. Both types of plants are recommended for creating a well-balanced butterfly garden.

Of course, the plants you choose will also depend on the conditions in your yard. Choose a sunny, open spot (dappled shade in part of the garden is OK) for best results. Among the plants you might try:

  • Sweet Pepperbush (also called Summersweet, or Clethra alnifolia)
  • Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthis occidentalis)
  • New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
  • Blazing Star (Liatris)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
  • Giant Hyssop (Agastache)
  • Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias)

A word about milkweed: there are several milkweed species, but it's best if you plant those native to our area. Milkweed is an important plant for migratory monarch butterflies in particular, whose decline has been partially attributed to destruction of milkweed in fields and due to development.

Some non-native plants that are butterfly attractors and do well in our area are alyssum, lantana, petunias, and zinnias.

You can plant such herbs as parsley and dill and fennel and sage for caterpillar food.

Vary your plantings, including annuals and perennials, as well as bushes, shrubs, and vines. Butterflies and caterpillars need protection from predators, such as birds. Yes, we love birds, but they do eat insects, so give your butterflies a break by planting your garden near a bush or tree where they can shelter. A shallow pan with damp gravel or rocks will be helpful to provide moisture and minerals. 

Need tips on what sells when improving your property? Our REALTORS® can help. Contact us today. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 06/29/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 06/29/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Tue 06/28/2022 10:42:58 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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