The whimsical wonder of butterflies!
The blissful, brilliant butterfly.
Butterflies bring their blissful vibes to any garden they come across! They are such a sweet reminder of the delicate and beautiful simplicity of life. If only we could all be butterflies for a day – now wouldn’t that be fun! Here are some fluttering facts about butterflies that are just fab to know:
Butterflies in the garden: What does this mean for me and my plants?
While feeding on plant nectar, butterflies also collect pollen on their legs and carry this pollen to other flowers and parts of the garden. Don’t be surprised if you’re treated to a whole new bed of flowers blooming! Plants that attract butterflies help to restore the natural ecology of life in urban gardens.
Sadly, there is one butterfly we ought not to be encouraging – the White Cabbage butterfly. This invader arrived in the Cape from Europe. It lays its eggs on brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts) and the larvae are causing havoc on vegetable farms.
Catering to the butterfly
As well as providing plants for nectar, butterflies need shelter from strong winds, sun to warm their wings for flight, flat stones where they can sun themselves, some weathered rocks with shallow holes that hold water, and some mud puddles.
Butterflies are attracted to red, orange, pink, and purple flowers, as well as white. Clusters of flowers are easier for butterflies to locate than individual plants. By growing a mixture of annuals, perennials, and shrubs of varying heights you will be encouraging a greater range of butterflies.