Don’t let those butterflies flutter by
To coincide with this year’s Big Butterfly Count we’re backing nectar rich plants that support butterflies in all outdoor spaces including everything from large gardens to balconies.
Butterflies are fans of simple, open blooms and these can include bedding plants, perennials, flowering shrubs and bulbs, so there’s plenty to choose from if you’re planning some butterfly friendly planting schemes this summer.
These nectar-rich flowers are the equivalent of snack bars for butterflies, moths and bees. They serve up the invaluable food beneficial insects need for energy.
This is a hardy and reliable shrub available in dwarf and compact varieties that are perfect for pots or tiny spaces with flowers in colours from pink and white to blue, lavender, magenta and deep purple.
Rudbeckia and Echinacea
Some of the best flowering perennials provide long-lasting displays, with a succession of flowers opening over several months.
They look great and provide welcome nectar for butterflies throughout the summer months
This plant has flowers into the autumn to feed Small Tortoiseshell and other late-flying butterflies as they prepare for hibernation.
Top three tips for planning and planting a butterfly friendly plot
- Choose a range of suitable plants with different flowering periods to ensure there’s something in bloom throughout spring, summer and autumn for butterflies to feed from.
- Several butterflies hibernate through winter. Adults emerging from hibernation need flowers to feed on in spring. Others require autumn blooms to stock-up on nectar to help them survive during hibernation.
- While flowers are important to feed adult butterflies do remember that different plants are needed for butterflies to lay their eggs on and to feed their caterpillars.
Additional information with thanks to the HTA.