Use butterfly feeders with a sponge or wicks to imitate the way butterflies draw nectar from flowers. Over-ripe fruit used with feeders will also entice the flying gems. Gardening and habitat (sans the pesticides) play a huge part in luring them, while leaf misters are also adored by butterflies and others! Butterfly houses? We're not too sure they're actually used for shelter, but will certainly add unique character to any setting.
Gardening for Butterflies
Butterfly feeders, leaf misters and puddlers will bring them around!
Creating habitat and gardening for butterflies (sans the pesticides) is the best way to entice them, but both host and nectar plants are required. Butterfly Bush, Milkweed and Lantana are just a few favorites - for more see this list of suggested plantings as well.
Using a leaf mister in the garden is perfect for attracting butterflies. Hummingbirds and songbirds adore their gentle spray too, and the activity in a garden through summer is amazing! Butterfly Puddlers are quite popular, and placing a large rock in the sun near feeders or misters allows butterflies to rest and dry in the warmth.
They will not drink from an open water source. If you're feeding nectar in a dish or bowl-type butterfly feeder, a sponge (preferably new) should be used to soak up the nectar. This imitates the pads of flowers where butterflies actually feed. Over-ripe fruit is another favorite, with bananas, melons, oranges, peaches and pears being a few sought after morsels. Just be sure fruit does not mold.
These additions to your yard will entice butterflies. As for butterfly houses, they may or may not actually provide shelter for the flying gems, but they certainly do look splendid in the garden!
Check out this short video for tips on attracting butterflies.