Creating a butterfly garden is anything but new. In fact, there are more resources available via Google on how to make a butterfly garden than the practice of creating a square foot garden. But, what if the garden you are trying to create needs to be limited to container plants?
Those gardeners who live in apartments, lifestyle villages, or who only have space on their rooftops are limited to what they can plant. Everything they grow must be contained in some form of pot rather than in garden soil. So, is it possible to create a butterfly container garden?
Sure, it’s just a matter of choosing the right plants that will survive living in a container, and still entice butterflies.
Keys to Growing Butterfly Plants in Containers
Select the right container – this is paramount to your success in growing the plants that butterflies like. For example, if you choose to grow Buddleia davidii you will need to source a sizable container to accommodate its growth. Finding pots that won’t dry out fast (which may mean sealing the inside of terracotta containers) is also as important.
Choose brightly coloured containers – butterflies aren’t attracted to bright colours for nectar but they are for mating. And there’s nothing like drawing a crowd. So, while your flowers may be a few weeks away from blooming, having brightly coloured pots may be the enticement they need.
Increase your watering – if you’ve grown many of these plants in your garden beds before then you will quickly notice that they need more water now than they’re in containers. The potting medium is far more likely to dry out because of its limited volume so prepare yourself to water every day during the warmer months.
Protect your plants from hot winds – if you have a rooftop or balcony garden you’re more likely to experience stronger winds. Butterfly plants being what they are, are usually quite heavy bloomers with wispy fragile stems so you may need to protect them from strong crosswinds.
Now that you have your containers already to go, what plants can you put in them to attract butterflies to your garden?
Plants that Attract Butterflies in Your Garden
Here’s a short list of some of the plants that you will be able to grow, noticing that they all are great bloom producers. Flowers are the main reason a butterfly, like bees, will be attracted to your plants so give them as much as they want.
Not all plants will work in all areas and the butterflies that are native in your region may be more particular about which plants they like to feast on. As your butterflies begin to descend upon your garden, take notice of which plants they’re attracted to and learn from their behaviour.
Joe Pye Weed
Mexican Orange Blossom
Sky Blue Aster
Smooth Solomon’s Seal
Sweet pepper bush
White False Indigo