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Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly Gardening with Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo staff know that the best way to save endangered species is to save their homes. Habitat preservation; providing clean water, safe cover, and the territory animals need to find their own particular kind of nourishment, are all critical elements in saving the wild creatures of the world. Everyone can help Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in saving wild species, starting right in their own backyard.

Butterflies are a colorful signal of a healthy backyard. By planting a butterfly garden in your yard you provide an environmentally friendly habitat for these colorful creatures and other important wildlife species, such as salamanders, frogs, toads, hummingbirds and native songbirds. Remember, when you maintain a safe home for wild creatures, everyone benefits. Children can learn so many valuable lessons from nature, you can enjoy the relaxing sight of butterflies alighting in your garden and everyone needs a clean, green and serene planet!

What Butterflies Need
Butterflies like sunny places, protected from the wind. They enjoy drinking from a damp, muddy spot or very shallow pool. In order to keep warm, butterflies like to bask in the sun, preferably on a large, flat stone you can set out for them. And of course, butterflies love flowers! Flowers provide the insects with nectar, their main source of nourishment. When it comes to flower preferences, butterflies seem most attracted to purple, yellow and orange colored flowers and the more flowers, the better. If you add some tall red and pink flowers to the mix like trumpet vine and torch lily, hummingbirds may also visit your garden with regularity. Be sure to place a shallow raised birdbath in your garden for your feathered guests. Helpful amphibians will enjoy the middy spot you create for thirsty butterflies. And don’t forget that all butterflies begin life as caterpillars that have their own special needs. We’ve provided two lists for you to help provide food for butterflies throughout their life cycle. Plant your garden and know that you’ve created a very special place for wildlife!

Flowers that attract butterflies

Alyssum Lobularia maritima
Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus
Verbena Verbena tenuisecta
Zinnia Zinnia elegans
Aster Aster sp
Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida
Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata
Joe Pye weed Eupatorium purpureum
Bee balm Monarda didyma
Phlox Phlox pannuculata
Sedum Sedum spectabile
Yarrow Achillea filipendulina
Globe thistle Echinop exaltatus
Mint Mentha sp.
Liatris Liatrus sp.

Trees & Shrubs for caterpillars and other native wildlife

Lilac Syringa vulgaris
Rhododendron Rhododendron sp
Spicebush Lindera benzoin
Butterfly bush Buddleia davidii
Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis
Bluebeard Caryopteris x clandonensis
Sweet pepperbush Clethra arborea
Buckeye Aesculus sp.
Plum Prunus sp
Willow Salix sp
Sassafras Sassafras albidum
Choke cherry Prunus virginiana
Black walnut Juglans cinera
White oak Quercus alba