Attracting Butterflies into Your Garden

Author: Meera, August 27, 2013


Western Yellow Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on geraniums

The Western Tiger Swallowtail, shown here on geraniums, resembles its counterpart,  the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


While sipping my morning coffee today, I spotted a Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in my garden. So naturally, I had to put down my mug of coffee and grab my camera.


These beauties have wingspans stretching up to four inches. The butterflies are often seen in woodlands around streams and riverbanks or canyons in the west. For a complete list of butterflies for Northern California, see


Here on the farmette, these beautiful butterflies feed on the nectar of the garden plants. I often see them on the blooms of my hedge of lavender and elsewhere on the zinnias. They also flit over and and perched on the water fountain near where I grow roses and wisteria.


You can attract these particular butterflies into your Northern California gardens by planting petunia, Mexican sunflower, dianthus, and the butterfly bush. But do a little research on creating a butterfly garden if you want to attract different types of butterflies. And don’t use pesticides or insecticides if you are serious about creating such a haven.


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