How to increase the number of butterflies in the garden by 93%: British entomologists share a simple secret

By Jurassic JennMay 9, 2024 11:04 AMScience
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How to increase the number of butterflies in the garden by 93
How to increase the number of butterflies in the garden by 93. Source: www.iflscience.com

Unfortunately, in recent years, the world's butterfly population has declined dramatically due to the use of chemicals by humans and the loss of their habitat. Butterflies drink nectar, during which they collect pollen from a plant or tree and carry it around, pollinating various crops.

Scientists from Butterfly Conservation are sure that if you simply do not mow the lawn on your site, it will help attract butterflies to your garden for natural pollination of crops in it. The journal Science of the Total Environment published the results of a study showing that allowing certain parts of the garden to grow wild grass can increase the number of butterflies by as much as 93%.

As Dr. Richard Fox commented for SSPDail, the study proved for the first time that grass that grows for a long time attracts butterflies to the garden. In such areas, significantly more of these creatures were recorded, with a high diversity of species. In rural areas, the number of butterflies increased by 93%, and in urban areas by 18%, which is also a good result.

You can even attract butterflies by growing wildflowers or common wild grass in a window box or on a balcony. Even such small changes help to improve the planet's ecosystem.

Which plants attract butterflies

According to the experts at GardinaMax, it's not just tall wild grass that attracts butterflies, although it is the most effective method. There are also certain perennials and annuals that can help attract these creatures to the garden:

  • Buddleia is a perennial shrub that reaches a height of 2 m, has purple-violet inflorescences and exudes a sweet honey aroma. It blooms from August to November.
  • Syrian cottonweed is an unpretentious plant that reaches 1.5 m in height. It has purple or orange inflorescences that are collected in an umbrella. The flowers exude a sweet scent of vanilla and chocolate. Butterflies are very fond of this plant and constantly circle around it. It does not bloom for long - only one month in the middle of summer.
  • New Belgium aster - attracts butterflies with its flowers that appear from late summer to September. To prolong the effect until frost, add Marcinki aster to the flowerbed.
  • Heliotrope is a plant that is characterized by charming purple inflorescences up to 12 cm in diameter. The sweet vanilla aroma is very attractive to butterflies. The plant blooms from late June until frost.
  • Autumn helenium is a herbaceous plant with orange, red, and yellow flowers that look somewhat like chamomile. The core is convex, has a lot of sweet nectar, and the flowers last from mid-summer to cold weather.
  • Spikelet liatris is another herbaceous plant with white, lilac, and purple inflorescences. It blooms in mid-summer and attracts butterflies for 40 days.
  • Lavender is a shrub from the Mediterranean that has tall spike-shaped inflorescences of lilac, blue, or purple colors. Not only the flowers but also the leaves exude a fragrance. It blooms from June to October.
  • Echinacea purpurea - flowers bloom in early August and look like large daisies of white, burgundy, or lilac color. It blooms until October.
  • Poskonnik - small baskets of lush inflorescences bloom in late summer for 40 days, have a purple-pink color scheme, although white flowers can also be found.
  • Goldenrod is a herbaceous plant with fluffy bright yellow inflorescences of cylindrical flowers. It blooms from May to September and attracts butterflies with its sweet nectar.

You can also sow annual plants every year. In particular, zinnia, double-headed cosmea, marigolds, rudbeckia, oregano, sage, snapdragon, calendula, violets, milkweed, or blue ageratum.

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