How Does Your Garden Grow?

Information gathered from Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Flowers that attract Butterflies

Flowers provide the nectar food adult butterflies need. Butterfly season in Alabama is early spring to late fall. Choose a variety of plants, including annuals, perennials, and woody shrubs, to have flowers continuously through the seasons. This plant diversity also attracts a greater variety of butterfly visitors. Many of Alabama’s native butterflies often visit purple, red, orange, and yellow flowers.

How many insects have you noticed flying in a straight line? Remember, butterflies are insects. Their compound eyes have poor vision for distinguishing tiny details. Large sweeps of each flower are most attractive to these near-sighted creatures.

Also, consider their mouthparts. Butterflies suck liquid food with a strawlike mouth. Tubular-shaped flowers are ideally suited. Butterflies prefer clusters of tubular or flat-topped flowers, but remember to have variety. Different species have different preferences for flower size. Compound flowers, such as verbena, daisies, and butterfly bushes, offer numerous nectar containers for sipping in a single stop.

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