Home and Garden Tips: Butterfly Gardening with Children
A butterfly garden teaches children about the life cycle as well as builds an appreciation for the environment. Some of the best home and garden tips include ideas for creating a natural habitat for wildlife. The first step is to stop using dangerous insecticides that kill butterflies as well as other beneficial insects. Then, you have a clean slate for growing butterfly host plants as well as butterfly nectar plants. Children love butterfly gardens because they can spot the eggs laid by adult female butterflies on the host plants as well as the caterpillar larvae that forms into chrysalises. When the adult butterflies emerge, it’s a spectacular moment for wide-eyed children. Even if you miss the exact moment, it’s fun for children to frolic in a butterfly garden as well as identify the different ones. Butterfly gardening teaches children patience.
Starting out the plants indoors
It’s somewhat challenging to start some butterfly plants indoors because they are more like weeds. Butterflies also like some bushes and plants. At the same time, you can grow some butterfly attractor plants in tiny pots inside the home during the winter. Some hardy flowers that butterflies love include asters, zinnia, cosmos, purple coneflower and black-eyed Susans.
Designing a path through a natural habitat
You can start a butterfly garden with your children in the front or backyard. In fact, it’s best to choose a shady area for butterflies that love shade as we as a sunny area for the butterflies that congregate in the sun. Some staple trees or bushes include flowering dogwood, lemon trees, butterfly bush, oak and bay trees. To attract specific butterflies such as monarchs, grow plenty of milkweed. To attract Zebra Longwing, grow a passion vine.
In addition to plants, show your children how to create puddles for the butterflies to drink water. Most butterflies like shallow sources of water. Also, it’s fun to make a gravel path leading to a sitting area in the shade. Reading in a butterfly garden or just taking time out from a hectic day teaches children how to relax, unwind and handle stress. For other family friendly home and garden tips, talk to your local native plant nursery or check out books at the local library with your children.