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How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Attract Butterflies to Your Garden!

When planting for butterflies and to attract butterflies to your garden it is important to plan for all four stages of a butterfly’s life: adult, egg, caterpillar, and chrysalis.

When you spend the time to attract butterflies to your garden, it can be a rewarding experience. Adult butterflies feed on nectar, which is obtained from flowering plants. In due course the adults lay their eggs, which need an unobtrusive leafy or grassy spot. When caterpillars hatch from the eggs, they will need all kinds of plant protein (although some are carnivorous) to prepare for the day when they form a chrysalis, and the whole process begins again.

One group of nectar-producing plants native to Australia is Micromelum minutum, small trees or shrubs of the citrus family Rutaceae. These plants are more commonly known as Lime Berry, Micromelum, Tulibas Tilos, Talafalu and Chememar. Other native Australians are Bursaria spinosa (Sweet Bursaria, Christmas Bush, Blackthorn, Prickly Box), Leptospermum (Teatree), Melaleuca (also referred to as Teatree, but more commonly known as Paperbark, or Honey-Myrtle), Eucalyptus (many varieties), Allocasuarina (She-Oak), Banksia (many varieties), Bossiaea (several varieties), Callistemon (Bottlebrush), Correa (several varieties, including Dusky Bells), Goodenia ovata (Hop Goodenia), Hakea (many varieties, including Pincushion Tree), Pimelea (many varieties, including Alpine Riceflower), Myoporum (Boobialla), Solanum (Kangaroo Apples), Parsonsia (New Zealand jasmine), Viola hederacea (Native Violet), Clematis (many varieties), and Pandorea pandorana (Wonga Vine). Almost all native wildflowers will produce nectar that butterflies find tasty. Local garden centers are excellent resources in this regard.

Non-native nectar-producing plants that have adapted well are Buddleia davidii (Butterfly-Bush, Summer Lilac, Orange Eye), Pentas (several varieties, one called Egyptian Star Flower), and Lantana camara (Big-Sage, Wild-Sage, Red-Sage, White-Sage and Tickberry). Lantana camara can be invasive, so careful consideration is a good idea.

Plants where butterflies like to lay their eggs, and where the hatched caterpillars prefer to dine, are referred to as butterfly host plants. In this case, it is usually best to stick to native varieties, which have stood the test of time. Proven butterfly host plants are Acacia (Wattles, which is also a good nectar plant), Pultenaea (Bush Peas), Scaevola (Purple Fan Flower), Lomandra (Spiny-head Mat-rush or Basket Grass), Poa (several varieties, including Annual Meadow Grass and Tussock Grass), Gahnia (Sawsedge), Carex (Sedge, many varieties), Hardenbergia violacea (Purple Coral Pea, also a nectar plant), and Kennedia prostrata (Running Postman, also an nectar plant). Many native trees host varieties of Mistletoe that are good places for butterfly eggs; this is another instance in which local garden centers are invaluable resources.

One final note: A garden dripping with pesticides and herbicides will neither attract nor sustain butterflies.

Gold Coast Butterflies

Gold Coast Butterflies has a wonderful collection of Butterflies and talks at their Butterfly Education and Conservation Walk-In House. They are open Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 2pm and every day of Qld School Holidays. Entry is only $5.00.

You will be able to also see Gold Coast Butterflies at the Botanical Bazaar, Gold Coast Gardening Expo.



  • These gorgeous flowers are from the Marguerite Daisy Standard. The plant is about 1.5m tall, topiary shaped, full of flowers and absolutely stunning.
  • You've got to love spring! These giant Russian sunflowers 🌻 sure do!
  • These gorgeous garden ladies were hand crafted by the team at Multicap Monte Lupo. This not for profit nurture people with disabilities to get crafty. We were honoured to be able to provide them with a complimentary place at the 2017 Botanical Bazaar to promote their charity and sell their stunning botanical art.
Image by @fringeandfodder #botanicalart #botanicalartist #workingwithadisability #craft #talent #gardenart #botanicalbazaar
  • Flashback to 6weeks ago when Kadie from @generalmedia.au went for a ride at the #botanicalbazaar on the Botanical Bike made by @ezikielcreative 🌻 A big shoutout goes to @gcbulletin for taking this pic and being such a great supporter of the event. 🚴 
#botanicalart #bikeriding #bike #yellowbike #botanicalbike #flowerbike #yellow #art #goldcoastart #goldcoastevent #goldcoastbulletin #rideyourbike #gardenart #gardeningaustralia
  • How awesome are Airplants! This Tillandsia has yellow flower spikes and some flower pods that have exploded and will secure themselves to the mother plant and grow. There must be over 30 fully grown plants within the clump and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It's the plant that just keeps giving. .
#airplant #tillandsia #flower #flowerspike #gardeningaustralia #growing #plant #gardening #organicgardener #urbangardening #growyourown
  • There was so much to look at within this exhibitor stall! Besides the lovely Dorothy who you may see volunteering or gardening all over the #GoldCoast, there was the @ediblescapes mandala, upcycled jean gardens, bug homes & delicious compost. The edible forest is planned to get planted out at Country Paradise in #Nerang. To learn more or volunteers, visit their page.
#volunteers #volunteerwork #ediblegarden #edibleforest #gardeningaustralia #gardens #countryparadise
  • Today is the start of Australia National Gardening Week 2017 AND WE HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR YOU!

Comment below 
1. ONE thing you will do in the garden this week plus
2. ONE thing you will do to encourage others to start gardening

National Gardening Week offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the simple joys of gardening and to highlight the associated environmental, social and health benefits. 
Whether it be maintaining a few pots on a balcony, a suburban backyard or a large country expanse, the enjoyment, the improved mental and physical wellbeing and the satisfaction gardeners gain from ‘getting their hands dirty’ is universal.

#gardeningaustralia #gardening #garden #gardeningweek #goldcoast #botanicalgardens #gardens #organicgardening #urbangardening #growyourown #grow #dig #gardenparty #plant #seed #kidsgardening
  • Can you guess what #edible plant this flower is from? 
We love letting edibles go to #flower to encourage little pollinators and collect seeds for the next planting.
#pollinate #gardeningaustralia #garden #white #gardening #organicgarden #organicgardener #organicgardenermag #urbangardener #urbangardens #backyardgardening #goldcoastgarden
  • Spring Onion flower with a swimming cap on 😂
#gardeningaustralia #springonion #showercap #grow #plant #gardening #goldcoastgarden #gardeningaustraliamag #organicgardening #organicgardenermag #urbangardening #visitgoldcoast #goldcoast #growyourown #growyourownfood #seed #flower

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