KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s nothing like a colorful butterfly fluttering around fragrant flowers on a summer evening. However, butterfly populations are currently down in the Midwest due to an extremely warm winter.
Matt Stueck from Suburban Lawn and Garden says there is a way to boost butterfly populations and that’s to plant a butterfly garden — or at the very least add a few plants to your garden that butterflies like.
Finding the right plants
There are two types of plants that attract butterflies: host plants and nectar plants. Host plants are where butterflies lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, caterpillars use the plant as a food source. Nectar plants attract adult butterflies and help pollinate them.
Host Plants Native to Missouri
- Golden Alexander
- Tulip Tree
- Pussy Toes
- Any willow tree species
Host Plants Not Native to Missouri
- Bronze Leaf Fennel
- Silver Mound Artemisia
- Milkweed — (also a host plant for Monarch butterflies)
- Purple Coneflower
- Milkweed (swamp, common, butterfly)
- Joe-pye weed
- Iron Weed
- Black-eyed Susans
For more information on creating a butterfly garden, visit your local Suburban Lawn and Garden store or visit their website.