Build a Butterfly Garden
Butterflies are avid pollinators. To invite some of the 700 North American butterfly species identified by the Audubon Society, consider replacing at least some of your lawn with nectar-rich plants. Make sure there's water, exposure to minerals, and plenty of sunlight, too.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you create your garden:

Do your homework. Research plants that will attract butterflies in your region. Get started with our Butterfly Garden gallery. Since some butterflies are world travelers, their favorite plants may be considered invasive to your region. Check the USDA Federal Noxious Weeds List before planting to make sure you are not introducing invasive growers. Consider the native plant suggestions in the American Beauties butterfly garden plan.

Get planting. There's a variety of colorful and nectar-rich plants that attract adult butterflies. But, if you want to encourage habitation, you need to grow plants suitable for larval stages, too.

Create mineral sources. A small patch of wet soil will attract butterflies seeking minerals. "A shallow dish or bowl with rocks or pebbles covered halfway with water will create a butterfly puddling site," advises Saffier. "During the summer, this requires some vigilance because water evaporates quickly," he adds. Butterflies will visit the dish to take in trace minerals from the water. Untreated tap works fine here, as chlorine dissipates into the air after 24 hours. A garden pond lined with flat rocks is a permanent alternative.

Essentially, birds and butterflies require food, water, nesting, and cover sites. A great way to welcome wildlife to your yard—and save on your water and lawn care bills—is to replace some of your grass with a bird or butterfly garden featuring native growers. As a finishing touch, you can put your beautiful new habitat garden—and your commitment to wildlife—on display with a Certified Wildlife Habitat yard sign from the National Wildlife Federation.
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