There are several reasons why life is just better with butterflies in it.
Most importantly for the ecosystem, they are pollinators. Many plants require pollinators to reproduce and butterflies fulfill that roll as they gather pollen on their bodies flittering from flower to flower to drink the nectar they feed on.
Second, the plants that attract butterflies will also attract native bees and hummingbirds.
But maybe just as important to us, they simply make us happy. Who does not love to watch a butterfly in action, watching their beautiful shape and color patterns as they visit our gardens.
Who does not ask themselves on occasion “what kind of butterfly is that and what can I do to attract more of them?”
Well, we intend to answer those questions as we begin our 2022 monthly blog series “Life is better with Butterflies” Each month we will discuss one particular butterfly commonly seen in north Florida. We will address it’s appearance, how to differentiate it from similar looking butterflies and what we can do to attract it to our gardens and help it thrive there.
In January we will begin our series with Florida’s State Butterfly, the Zebra Longwing.
So please look for this blog every month in 2022 and you may just find out more about your favorite butterfly and how to create it’s favorite habitat in your own garden.
For additional information please visit https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/design/types-of-gardens/butterfly-gardens.html
Written by Carin Ashman, UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Master Gardener Volunteer