DIY Butterfly Garden
Head of Invertebrates, Keeper Kate, shares her advice on the best ways to attract native butterflies, bees, bugs and birds to your garden.
1) Find a sunny, well-drained area in your backyard. Try to avoid soil that is nutrient-rich (this includes pet poo!)
2) Choose plants of varying heights and consider companion planting so you can tempt butterflies with two options; a place to find food (nectar) and a comfortable spot to lay their eggs.
3) Create a nectar trap. When choosing plants, try choosing lots of shallow-throated flower options, like daisies and plants that have multiple flowers at the end of the stems such as Sweet Bursaria or Buddleia.
4) Try visiting a specialty Indigenous tube stock nursery; the butterfly species local to your area are going to be attracted to plants that are local to your area. An Indigenous nursery will be able to help you pick the best plants.
5) Encourage lacewings and Lady beetles. They eat aphids and other pests, which is great to keep your garden healthy.
6) Provide basking and courtship areas for the butterflies to exhibit their natural behaviours. You could add rocks or include bare patches of ground to create these areas.
7) Provide over-wintering areas that are shelters, like an insect hotel or Butterfly Box for the cooler months. Insects will bunk down and emerge in the summer time.
8) Avoid using insecticides or pesticides.
Mix, match and attract
If you are looking to attract particular butterflies, check out Keeper Kate’s suggestions for the best plants to buy:
|FLYING||BUTTERFLY SPECIES TO ATTRACT||PLANTS TO LOOK FOR|
|Oct - Mar||White-banded Grass Dart||Wallaby grasses, Weeping Grass or Couch Grass|
|Jan - Apr||Orchard Swallowtails||Lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit trees|
|Nov - Mar||Common Brown||Kangaroo Grass, Slender Tussock Grass or Couch Grass|
|Sept - Jan||Australian Painted Lady||Common Everlasting, Everlasting Daisies|
|Dec - Mar||Common Grass Blue||Native legumes (peas)|