“I am currently turning my weedy flower garden into a bird station with flowers for pollinators! (no more weeds!) I am very excited about my project and will have it completed by next Spring. So I am having fun perusing your website and procuring items to begin installation after Winter. For now, I’m preparing soil and tweaking my plans. Thanks for your wonderful shop! ” ~Nancy
The note above was recently sent in by a customer and friend… it’s simply music to our ears! Consider adding a bee or butterfly feeder to help all pollinators and to ease the great monarch migration in fall.
Fall plantings beyond your traditional mum varieties will extend your garden’s blooming season and even better yet, continue to attract butterflies! By choosing some of these beautiful, fall blooming plans in your garden, you’ll enjoy an abundance of blooms and continue to attract butterflies.
Even though we see a plethora of butterflies in spring and summer months surrounding our flowers, there are still many that have a need for nectar in the fall. Some varieties have migration paths as long as thousands of miles, so good nectar sources are needed along the way. Many butterflies are not migratory and continue searching for nourishment locally. Try your hand at some of these fall plantings for an additional bonus of butterflies to your garden!
Think red, yellow, pink, purple and other bright colors as you design your garden’s artistic palette of blooms for fall. Many flowers attract butterflies and are suitable for almost any garden. Consider plants that can withstand the season’s first or second frost. Some recommended plantings are:
- Sedums: Easy to grow plants in gravelly soil in full sun with decent drainage.
Pink and Purple Asters: When sheared in the spring can produce a mound of pleasing, compact loads of daisy-like blooms
- Salvia: Continue to bloom through the first hard frost come in many varieties and produce tubular blossoms to attract swallowtails, fritillaries, and other butterflies
- Latana: A favorite of butterflies that blooms in the summer until a hard, killing frost.
- Penta: A true love of the butterfly! Colors are typically bright red and work well in beds, borders, or in pots on a patio
- Bluebears: Drought-tolerant for those of you living in dryer regions. Produces clusters of deep-blue flowers and typically grows 3 to 4 feet tall.
Remember, these are just a few varieties of fall bloomers to get you started! Consider fall planting choices for beauty-enhancing blooms and the additional benefit of nourishment for our butterfly friends!
- Sedums: Easy to grow plants in gravelly soil in full sun with decent drainage.
Migratory winged ones are on the move!
It’s an awesome time of year to catch the action not only of feathered friends- but butterflies too!
Although we’ve nary seen a monarch this year (so very sad) a few other butterfly species have been prevalent. Several Swallowtails, Sulphurs and Viceroys to name a few. And even though we have a great selection on our website… they’re not coming to any fancy butterfly feeders.
A few alternative options to actual butterfly feeders:
•Discarded fruit- provided it’s not too far gone
•Nectar producing flowers- preferably native
These things absolutely work to entice the flying jewels! Leaf misters offer a gentle spray which butterflies adore, you can see them dance and flit through the fine mist. In fact, it’s almost mesmerizing! Their own personal spa, leaf misters also have gardens growing lush. Use these year after year, ours are going on their 10th season!
Discarded fruit is a no-brainer; from oranges, to melons, pears, apples and bananas, place fruit on a deck rail, plate, or anywhere near flowers where you’ve seen the least bit of butterfly activity.
And the flowers? We prefer native perennials. Again, you’ll get year after year of blooms and activity. Lantana is is one of the more common plants in the southeast, in fact it’s almost invasive! Butterfly or milk weed is also a popular host plant. Pollination Trifecta in this video with hummingbird, bees and butterflies on one plant!
Plan next spring with a few vegetables specifically for butterfly host plants; dill, fennel and parsley are ideal plants to host black swallowtails, and milkweed is a must for monarch caterpillars!
Another easy DIY is creating a waterless pond for butterflies to warm in the sun. Simply place heat-aborbing rocks (so they’re flat) in a sunny spot, add sand and salt and keep moist. You may wish to line the area first with plastic to keep salt out of soil. Sort of a crude version of the popular butterfly puddlers.
And one last tip on feeding butterflies: They do not drink from an open water source. When using butterfly feeders like this staked one below, place a sponge in the center to soak up nectar. This acts as a wick where butterflies draw nectar like they do in nature from flowers.
Ok, maybe we’re wrong, the really really last tip: Stop using chemicals like pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides. Natural is the new landscape, manicured, pristine lawns and gardens are a thing of the past. Do it for butterflies, do it for all pollinators, most of all… do it for the human race!
Buzz about the Monarch’s dwindling population is more than justified. You may have heard about it, but if not check this fact: Since the mid-90’s their decline has reached 90% from the 20-year average. What’s this mean in terms of real numbers? Swap monarchs for people for a second, every person in the US would be gone except for those living in just two states!
One of the biggest reasons for their decline is believed to be the disappearance of milkweed- the Monarch caterpillar’s only food source, and also the only plant on which Monarchs will lay their eggs. To name a few other culprits; urban sprawl, extreme weather, new farming practices and illegal logging in the butterflies’ winter habitat in Mexico.
Offering suitable habitat and butterfly feeders really does help the local Monarch population. Don’t bother with houses… they don’t use them! Both can be fantastic and unique garden accents – with feeders being much more useful. Butterflies also adore leaf misters, set one up near lantana or any other nectar-producing plant and you’re bound to see some winged action!
The butterfly feeders above are handmade, blown glass flowers on a 36-inch stake. They’re versatile for nectar or fruit, and for songbirds too. The hanging butterfly feeder below has been tested and approved by butterfly experts. A special combination of wicks and tubes mimic real flower blossoms, the design and color attracts butterflies and the nectar reservoir size is ideal to minimize spoilage.
This season, Swallowtails have been spotted in our butterfly habitat, but no Monarchs yet 🙁 Still a few months for their presence in the southeast… we’ll continue to feed and keep watch for the winged wonders!
What gardener or birding enthusiast doesn’t adore butterflies? If they’re fairly new to either hobby, the first point of concern is habitat, even if they happen to be seasoned vets… habitat is always key in luring any winged wonders to the garden!
Food, water and shelter simply equal habitat, not too complicated at all. When landscaping a new home, or enhancing existing gardens, native plants are always the best choice, for wildlife and the home-owner. As food sources and as shelter, they’re more likely to thrive in local soils. Nectar-producing flowers (including many of the showy annuals) are really butterfly feeders themselves.
Butterfly houses? Although they make for stunning garden accents with an almost magical appeal… we’re not convinced butterflies actually use them! But another cool butterfly feeder is hand-blown and home grown right here in Georgia. On a tall stake, these large glass flowers offer versatility for feeding nectar as well. Birds will use them as sippers with fresh water, and even suet or jelly for migratory friends works great! Best of all, these are lovely in the garden whether butterflies are present or not!
Creating those spaces for butterflies with water and places to “warm in the sun” is the absolute equivalent to visiting the spa! Leaf misters are a major attraction, and birds love them too! Puddlers are perfect as feeders using over ripe fruit or the secret sauce recipe on the tag accompanying them. As an inviting bath for butterflies, they’re simple to use.
Handcrafted weather-proof stoneware, the decorative plaque-like puddlers are safe in the garden year-round, adding a nice touch even when flying jewels are absent. A great gift for any nature buff, ours come with a book on butterfly gardening for ideas and inspiration on creating the ultimate habitat!
A few, yes there were actually three or four butterflies spotted in the yard last month. Because winter dragged it’s sorry butt into spring again this year, there really wasn’t anything blooming yet from where butterflies could draw nectar. Offering leaf misters through summer (which butterflies love), we’re really not ones to offer butterfly feeders, because there’s enough to maintain in our wildlife habitat already!
Quick… run to the store for plants in bloom so the flying gems might have something to eat and decide to stick around! This hibiscus did nicely, as well as this orange tube thing… I couldn’t tell you the name, but most tube-shape flowers are nectar producers (good to know).
Enter a local artisan and glass blower spotted at a craft show. Hhmmm? Can you make us some glass flowers and put them on a tall stake? We want to use them in the garden as butterfly feeders! After a few weeks and some back & forth… ta-dah!
Some of the most beautiful staked glass butterfly feeders we’d ever seen, they came out awesome! The pics don’t really do them any justice, because sunlight accents the colors and makes them sparkle. On a 36-inch stake, they’re perfect anywhere in the garden, and are quite versatile for birds too.
Complete with a piece of sea sponge which acts like a wick, butterflies can draw nectar naturally as they do from flowers. Fill it with water as a sipper for any songbird, or a few spoonfuls of grape jelly for orioles, cat birds and other migratory birds. You can even do suet chunks or seed in winter for your resident fliers.
Hand-blown glass and locally made ensure these feeders are unique and high quality, and we can promise if the habitat is right, both butterflies and birds will be winging their way right to them!
Nobody’s thinking butterflies just yet, but it won’t be too long! With several migrations underway, monarchs, swallowtails and others will be arriving soon. Their numbers are way down which is alarming to scientists, pesticides and climate change being key factors.
If you’d like to have these pollinators gracing your garden, here’s a few simple things to consider:
•Call it quits and abandon the use of any pesticides and herbicides.
•Plant native flowers and shrubs to benefit the flying jewels. Two-part, for food and hosting the chrysalis. A simple search on the web will reveal an abundant list of options for your locale.
•Leaf misters are mighty appealing to butterflies. They’re simple to install and even portable, your garden will grow lush too as a result of the gentle spray of water!
•Add butterfly feeders, in the form of nectar producing flowers, over ripe fruit, or an actual feeder that offers nectar via wicks. The wicks re-create the way butterflies use their long middle antennae to draw nectar from flowers.
•Butterfly Houses? Not so much, but they do look awesome in the landscape!
•Try a stoneware butterfly puddler for a cozy place to warm themselves in the sun.
Aside from an artsy garden accent, they can be used as feeders or easily transformed into a waterless pond by adding some sand and salts. The Ginko is a new puddler available for 2014 that features a rich texture and natural color. Both styles are complete with instructions for best use.
Now if it ever greens up, we’ll get a cool shot of the new one actually being used in the landscape!
If the hummingbird buzz and pre migration isn’t enough activity right now, the local butterfly population seems to have exploded! The past few days have provided some mesmerizing views around the garden. Four species of the jeweled wonders have been spotted flitting around flowering shrubs and plants.
Lantana, butterfly bush and abelia have recently been the most popular of nature’s butterfly feeders. Monarchs and swallowtail butterflies being the most abundant. In past years the leaf misters were especially attractive, but with all the rain this season, they haven’t been employed much. Instead the rains have produced bumper crops of flowers, in turn feeding anyone who pollinates!
Store-bought butterfly feeders are great, especially the ones with wicks that allow butterflies to feed more naturally (like drawing nectar from flowers). Even a plate of over-ripe fruit chunks may entice, but nothing beats nature’s feeders!
Yep, turns out that host plants and nectar-producing flowers aren’t the only foods butterflies enjoy. Seems that beer is mighty popular with the winged wonders too! When mixed with molasses and a few slices of over-ripe bananas, beer is an ultimate attraction due to the high sugar content. The best way to offer this type of mixture is on a shallow dish, or spread over some rocks (in full shade is best).
Of course butterflies will take some time to find the new food source, but if habitat is suitable and they’re already hanging around, chances are very good they’ll discover the treat. Habitat would begin with gardening, and oh, the leaf misters! Butterflies adore the gentle mist in summer. To be honest, we’ve never offered butterfly feeders in our yard, but every summer the action is non-stop. Two misters and plants like lantana, milkweed, butterfly bush, abelia and angel trumpet abound, and the best part… they’re all perennial plants which come back every year!
Now if you’re more inclined to offer traditional nectar in your butterfly feeder, remember that they do not drink from an open liquid source. A sponge (preferably new) is necessary to soak up the liquid, and a regular kitchen sponge will do the trick well. In this manner it acts as a wick, where butterflies can draw their food from, more along the lines of extracting nectar from a flower. This stoneware dish is perfect for offering nectar and the beer & molasses mixture, even a few pieces of old banana.
The video below, by P.Allen Smith offers some great suggestions for attracting butterflies through gardening. As far as the beer & molasses mixture? You’re on your own with that!
Love cool stuff! These butterfly feeders(coming soon) do double duty for fruit lovers like; Warblers, Thrashers, Woodpeckers, and lots of other migratory friends who adore fruit and/or jelly. An Oriole’s favorite, the center may be filled with jelly, while orange quarters are placed right along side.
As a nectar feeder for butterflies, the sea sponge is included. It acts as a wick-absorbing the liquid because butterflies will not drink from an open source. This method recreates how the flying gems actually draw nectar from flowers. Over-ripened fruit may also be placed on the outer dish, offering butterflies a varied and swell refuge.
Handcrafted of weather-proof stoneware, lead-free glazes, and brass chain, it’s safe outdoors year-round. The feeder may also be placed in the dishwasher for a quick & thorough cleaning. Lure butterflies to your place offering nectar and fruit together in this groovy, hand-made feeder.
And speaking of fruit, butterflies enjoy a variety of over-ripened ones. Grapes, oranges, melons, peaches, apples and berries will entice them to nibble and come back for more. This durable stalk feeder is perfect for creating a fruit smorgasbord, even corn on the cob works well in winter after butterfly migration is complete. (Yes… some folks really do feed the squirrels!)
Of course habitat plays a key role in attracting butterflies, and omitting pesticides will prove most beneficial. Nectar-producing flowers (lantana, abelia, and butterfly bush) are most common, and should be included in the landscape. Host plants are also required, and will likely deteriorate with munching! Milkweed, parsley and cabbage are a few favorites caterpillars love (and need) for growth to chrysalis stage.
Ever witnessed the stages of a butterfly metamorphosis? Until seeing the video below, I can’t say that I have! Truly a masterpiece of nature, it’s worth the watch!
Omg, the last minute rush to find a perfect gift: imagine one that actually gets used and enjoyed, by the recipient and wildlife too?… it’s not too late! FedEx is including Saturday as a weekday delivery this year! We’re getting orders out the next day and most items are in stock. That’s a full weeks’ transit time if ordered tomorrow! Hurry, there’s still time to find fantastic butterfly feeders and more with no expedited shipping charges.
This butterfly feeder includes a package of nectar, wicks for real feeding, and small spikes to offer fruit… that’s why it works 🙂 It features both pole-mount and hanging options too.
The Butterfly Puddlers have been extremely popular this year, we’ve sold out twice and have more on the way! Hand crafted in weatherproof stoneware and recycled glass, they may be used as butterfly feeders offering over-ripe fruit, or as baths- using sand and salts. A lovely garden accent to boot, this item will bring many seasons of use.
Another popular type of butterfly feeder is the staked, large glass flower. They may be used as a bath or feeder, but the trick to getting butterflies to drink nectar from this type of open feeder is to add a piece sponge to the flower (preferably a new one). Soaking up the nectar, the sponge acts as a wick that imitates nature and the way butterflies actually draw nectar from flowers. Still available, but in yellow only.
And lastly, if you really want to see some butterfly action this summer, leaf misters work like a charm! The activity in a garden around a leaf mister in summer is truly amazing. Stake one of these in the ground around some lantana, milkweed, or abelia, and enjoy the show. Hummingbirds and songbirds love them too.
Simple to install, there are several options for use. We like the ground stake option, as the mister placement may be easily changed every few days. This avoids saturation in any given spot. Other birds will leaf bathe, hummingbirds dart in and out of the mist, while butterflies “flut” around… it’s very cool! The misters create a “spa-like” atmosphere that you could sit and watch for hours.
So there it is, great last minute gifts to entice these winged wonders… all in stock for immediate shipping!
And if I don’t make it back to the blog before then… Wishing you & yours a most wonderful holiday~