Kids Native Butterfly Garden

Kids can create a butterfly garden with beautiful native flowers that are the specific plants for food and shelter for butterflies and caterpillars in their backyard. The main food of adult butterflies is nectar from red, orange, yellow, blue, or purple flowers. The female butterfly lays her eggs on very specific larval food plants. Larval food plants are native plants that haven’t been sprayed with weed or insect killers. The Monarch butterfly only eats one species of plant, milkweed. Homeowners and developers have changed the landscape from native plants and trees that butterflies and other insects used for food and homes to large lawns trimmed with exotic plants that originated in different climates. The exotic plants tend to escape the gardens and become invasive in the native landscape.  Commercial agriculture has also removed the native habitat and added toxic chemicals to the land. Many native plants have been thought of as weeds to be removed but to many species of butterflies these plants are food, such as clovers, mallows, lantana, and butterfly weed. This loss of native habitat has reduced the biodiversity of the North American landscape significantly with less food for insects, birds, and wildlife. Kids can create a good butterfly garden with beautiful native flowers, culinary herbs, and fruits. Kids can watch as the female butterfly lays her eggs on the underside of leaves or flower buds of the native plant. The caterpillar will eat its host plant as it grows and forms a chrysalis. Kids can care for the chrysalis by providing wind protection and shelter from migrating birds. From the chrysalis the adult butterfly emerges to dry its wings in the sun. Kids can provide the butterflies with a shallow source of water and a sunny zone of bright colored native flowers for fragrance, nectar, and food.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s