Level – INTERMEDIATE

Many plants rely on butterflies to pollinate them. Here’s what you’ll need to create a habitat for these beautiful insects in your backyard.

• Sunshine. Choose a site that gets plenty of sunlight and is sheltered from the wind. Add a few flat rocks so butterflies can warm up.

• Host plants. Adult butterflies need to lay their eggs on plants that caterpillars can eat such as dill, fennel, milkweed, and parsley.

• Mud puddles. Some butterflies get their nutrients from the water in damp soil and sand, so leave a few areas free of mulch and keep them moist.

• Nectar plants. Asters, coneflowers, milkweed, phlox, and zinnias are just some of the flowering plants that attract butterflies. Choose species native to your region.

• Varied blooms. To provide butterflies with a viable home, you’ll need a variety of plants so there are flowers in your garden from spring until fall.

In the fall, let leaves accumulate in your garden so that caterpillars, chrysalises, and dormant adults have a warm place to overwinter.