Gainesville Butterfly Gardens
Commercial and residential butterfly gardens are a great option for those who like a more natural looking landscape. You can have all the beauty without all the up-keep. These types of gardens not only attract butterflies but hummingbirds and bees, too. Butterfly gardens at your home or office are a wonderful way to bring nature right up to your windows. At Evergreen Lawn Care, we use native and Florida friendly host and nectar plants like Milkweed, Pentas, Salvia and Lantana.
Butterfly Gardens for Your Home & Office
Butterfly gardens are most successful when they are composed of a variety of flowers and other elements to attract this gentle flyer. Not only will you want a wide range of plant species, but different shapes as well. You may want to add what are known as plant “pizzas” which are flowers that create a flat surface. Some butterflies prefer level surfaces they can easily land on. You will also want to plant long-tubed flowers for larger butterflies to insert their proboscis and composites for species that are smaller in size. There are several other items you may want to consider adding:
- Water source with fountain
- Plants to host larva
- Larger vegetation to protect fragile plants and wildlife
- Nectar sources for adult
- Bench to enjoy your garden
Creating Butterfly Gardens
Adding a butterfly garden to your home or business provides you with many benefits. The most obvious of which is the beauty that these gardens provide. Your family or your customers can enjoy the beautiful flowers as well as the joy of frequently watching charming butterflies receive the nectar they need. When choosing your species, you will get the opportunity to select species that are native to Florida. These plants will be easier to maintain and prevent the presence of invasive species.
Because butterflies are attracted to different plant species, you will have to have a variety of plant types. This selection of plants adds both curb appeal and allure. Further, the assortment of flowers will help your property to retain color and interest throughout multiple seasons. Additionally, your garden will be home for a variety of other wildlife that has the potential to benefit your property.
Milkweed plants are named because of the milky sap they produce. Be sure to keep children and animals away from this sap because it has the potential to irritate skin and is toxic upon consumption. The flowers tend to be yellow or orange and attract monarch and queen butterflies. If you choose to plant them, ensure they are completely in the sun and they prefer soil that is well-drained.
Pentas come in colors such as white, purple, red and white. These flowers can grow up to 2-3 feet in height. They prefer full sun to partial shade and must receive an ample amount of water. Pentas have the potential to grow in both containers and the ground depending on which you prefer.
Salvia is a perennial that has small flowers with bright colors. It prefers sunlight and grows to a range of one foot to three feet. This plant requires the average amount of water and the soil must have excellent drainage. Salvia attracts butterflies such as Zebra longwings, Monarchs, Sulphurs and Giant swallowtails.
Lantana has many bright colors such as purple, yellow and orange. They are extremely low-maintenance and prefer a dry setting in direct sunlight. Lantana attracts many butterflies such as the Zebra Longwing. It produces dense groundcover but you you should be aware that it is highly invasive so you will need to be careful about how far it spreads.