How to Attract More Birds and Butterflies to Your Landscape

Summer is all about spending time outdoors and enjoying your landscape.  And what is more relaxing than enjoying your morning cup of coffee while watching winged creatures? With a combination of thoughtful landscape design and careful plant selection, you can boost curb appeal and welcome butterflies, birds, dragonflies and other desirable wildlife to your garden. 

Handy Tips on Plant Selection

A mix of flowering plants that provide nectar, small trees and shrubs will provide shelter, while plants that produce berries and seeds provide a great food source.  Including native plants in the landscape design ensures that native wildlife will naturally be drawn to your landscape.  Plus, water features – such as fountains and bird baths – provide a place for birds and butterflies to get water.

There are a few plants that are “old standbys” for habitat gardens. These plants reliably attract birds and butterflies, have a broad range of growth, are relatively easy to find, easy to care for and attractive. The best plants for nectar are: purple coneflower, lantana, milkweed, Mexican sunflower, garden phlox, sunflower, zinnia, and cosmos.

Host plants, which feed butterfly larvae, are also important and include: purple coneflower, aster, artemisia, dill, fennel, milkweed, hollyhock, pawpaw, sweetbay magnolia, rue, tulip poplar, and willows. 

Plants that attract birds include: sunflowers, birch trees, evergreen shrubs, serviceberries, hollies, beautyberry, hawthorne, elderberry, blackberry, crab apple, oaks, grapes, roses, and viburnum.

Watering: When and How Much? 

Another handy tip: Water plants only when needed. Many homeowners opt for wi-fi enabled systems that only irrigate when weather conditions require it.  Most lawns will survive and stay healthier with far less water than they frequently receive.  Watering deeply, but less frequently, also encourages better root growth.

Ready to pull all the right elements together to create a beautiful (and functional) landscape?  The team at Handy Andy Outdoors are experts at designing and installing the landscape of your dreams!