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Plant lots of nectar-rich flowering plants in big pots.
What will work best for you will depend on where you live. Check here for more specific information by state.
You’ll not only want the flowering plants that they feed on, but also some of the plant that their young eat (as caterpillars), called “host plants”.
And since it’s a rooftop garden, what works for you will also be limited to the plants that will take to container gardening.
Yes! Adult butterflies are attracted to sweet, sharp and fragrant smells and the colors orange, yellow, pink, purple and red. All varieties love wild flowers & need both nectar plants and larval food plants to keep their life cycle going. They also need a sunny, preferably wind protected area & some water or wet sand. http://www.ccenassau.org/hort/html/butterfly_garden.html
Plants for butterflies http://www.geocities.com/farfalla247/plantlist.html Alpine rockcress (Arabis alpina) Aster (Aster) Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Bugle (Ajuga) Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) Campion/ Catchfly (Silene) Caragana/ Pea tree (Caragana aurantiaca) Campion/ Catchfly (Silene) Catmint/ Catnip (Nepeta x faasseniii) Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) Common marjoram (Origanum vulgare) Daisy (Bellis perennis) Day lily (hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus) Field eryngo (Eryngium) French marigold (Tagetes patula) Geranium (Hardy) Golden rod (Solidago Canadensis) Heliopsis (Heliopsis helianthoides) Hemp agrimony (Eupatorium purpureum) Honesty (Lunaria) Honeysuckle (Lonicera x tellmania) Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) Ironweed (Vernonia spp.) Knapweed (Centaurea) Knautia Scabious (Knautia) Lavendar (lavandula angustifolia) Lilacs (Syringa spp.) Leopards-bane (Doronicum) Ligularia (Ligularia spp.) Martagon lily (Lilium martagon) Masterwort (Astrantia) Mezereon (Daphne) Mouse-ear (Cerastrium) Pennycress (Thlaspi) Phlox (Phlox paniculata spp.) Pink (Dianthus) Pincushion flower (Scabiosa spp.) Primrose (Primula) Purple coneflower (Echinaea purpurea) Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) Ragged robin (Lychnis) Sweet pea (Lathyrus) Sage (Salvia) Siberian squill (Scilla sibiria) Snakeroot (Liatris spicata Speedwell (Veronica) Stoke’s Aster (Stokesia laevis) Stonecrops (Sedum spp.) Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) Thrift rose (Armeria) Thistle (Cirsium) Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora, C. lanceolata) Vervain (Verbena spp.) Vetch (Vicia) Yellow chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) Viburnum (Viburnum spp) Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
Select your plants by the type of butterflies you wish to attract. If your favorite butterfly is the Monarch, you must have Milkweed for these caterpillars to feed on. If you like Black Swallowtail, plant dill and/or parsley. Plants listed for Monarch butterflies: http://www.monarchwatch.org/garden/nectar.htm http://www.monarchwatch.org/garden/index.htm Purchase Seeds http://www.butterflyencounters.com/store/products.php http://www.butterflyencounters.com/ Monarch Butterflies Eat and Thrive on Milkweed Monarch Migration https://muextension.missouri.edu/extensioninfonet/article.asp?id=1553 The basic’s of rooftop gardens: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/rooftop-gardening Images to inspire: http://www.flickr.com/photos/liquidskyarts/16275948/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/13293620@N04/1361729825/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandyb/159660564/ Good Luck! Hope this is helpful.
You could, selecting the right kinds of plants for butterfly nectar, but you also need the right kinds of plants for the caterpillars to feed on. Dill, fennel and parsley will attract the swallowtails, andprovide food for their caterpillars.
I find that money plant (lunaria) is one of the best early spring sources for nectar. Plants with broad flowers and clusters that provide a landing platform for butterflies are necessary; zinnias, asclepias, marigolds, echinacea, daisies, phlox, autumn joy sedums, etc.
You need to provide a water source. Some butterflies like to “puddle” in a shallow dish. Some are actually meat eaters.
Some of the big frittilaria butterflies, tho they will feed on many flowers, need violets to lay eggs on and for the caterpillars to feed on when they hatch.
A good book is Caterpillars of Eastern North America, by David Wagner, a Princeton Field Guide; it is the only comprehensive book on caterpillars so far written and will give you food sources for both caterpillars and butterflies.
There is another good one, but a very tiny book, called Painted Ladies. It is also a good book for butterfly gardeners. Thereis also an Ortho book of Hummingbirds and Butterflies. I woould suggest if you are going to build a butterfly garden, you need to invest in one of these books and do some more research. Hereis a good web site with a plant list: a butterfly gardenon a rooftop is not much different than one on the ground:
I would use Big Pots, and alot of perinnals that are listed in Angels post they will come back if you use bubble wrap in the pots to insulate them. Also try using the new nectur they have out for butterflies to start them coming to you garden area! Good luck, and Happy Gardening!
Morning glories are good too….the butterflies like them and hummingbirds do too!!
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