If you’re fascinated by these beautiful insects, you may want to consider starting a butterfly farm.
Butterflies are beautiful flying insects that are also known for their beneficial impact on the environment. Places with significant butterfly populations point to a healthy environment.
What more? Like bees, butterflies play a key role in pollination through their feeding activities.
In recent years, there has been a push by governments across the world to increase dwindling butterfly populations due to their many benefits to the environment.
Starting A Butterfly Farm
Starting a butterfly farm or garden isn’t a difficult task. Selling butterflies for money is.
You’ll need to put in the right things at the right place and simply wait for them to arrive. Butterflies are attracted to certain conditions that must be provided. Creating a haven for them isn’t as complex as you might think.
Let’s begin our discussion as follows.
How To Farm Butterflies
Among the several things required to create a suitable environment for butterflies are attractive flowers, water source, large flat rocks as well as trees or shrubs.
Having all these within your site helps you create the right conditions for these insects to thrive.
Find a Sunny Spot
One of the primary requirements for butterfly farming is a sunny location. It should be such that it receives an adequate supply of sunlight as butterflies thrive in such environments. Now, part of this garden or farm should be provided with some form of the shed as well as windbreakers.
We’ll be discussing more on shed and windbreakers shortly. A sunny location among other things (as listed below) serves as the ideal sanctuary for butterflies to thrive.
Before long, your butterfly farm should be attracting lots of these insects.
Certain plants and flowers are known to be butterfly favorites.
Planting these on your farm will lead to butterflies flocking to such areas. So, what are these plants and flowers? There are several. Some of the most common types include Stonecrop, Beebalm, Ornamental grasses, and Baptisia.
Others include Stokesia, Pipe Vine, Angelica, Yarrow, Phlox, Sunflower, Joe-Pye Weed, Liatris (also known as Blazing Star) as well as plants within the mint family. Some other plants and flowers butterflies find attractive include Snapdragon, Ironweed, Daisy, Goldenrod, Black-Eyed Susan, Verbena, and Lantana.
Others are Salvia, Aster, Coneflower, Butterfly Flower (also called Butterfly weed), and Butterfly Bush. All these plants and flowers easily attract butterflies. Such attractive flowers only need to be planted within your farm or garden to have them flocking around.
A puddle pool is an ideal water source for butterflies.
This is one of the basic provisions to create a haven for butterflies to thrive. A lot of times, people make mistakes by thinking that having a pond in the garden or farm will serve the purpose.
However, a birdbath or pond can be quite treacherous as such could overwhelm butterflies. Therefore, instead of these, it’s best to create a puddle pool which is almost similar to the natural habitat they are used to.
Here, mud is introduced to serve as landing spots for these insects. Butterflies find damp or moist mud as sufficient enough draw their water from.
Making a Puddling Pool
To create a puddling pool in your butterfly farm, get a wide and flat pan or dish. This should be filled with gravel or sand. Now, bury this flat pan or dish in a sunny area within your butterfly farm or garden. This should be buried to the rim and out of areas with strong winds.
Now, water needs to be added as often as possible especially when the weather is hot as a lot will be lost through evaporation. In place of a flat dish, you could also use a bucket for your puddling pool. This is also filled up with sand as well as water to create a shallow pool.
Consider Adding Some Minerals
It’s widely thought that butterflies visit pools to drink water only. However, the reality is quite different. Research has shown that they do much more than that. Pools also serve as sources of salts and minerals which are loved by butterflies.
In providing an artificial water source for your butterfly farm, you may try adding some beneficial minerals. Male butterflies need these nutrients and salt the most. They transmit these through their sperms into the females.
The benefits of these salts and minerals are quite numerous. The nutrients found in puddling pools help with pheromone production. So, consider adding salt, stale beer, manure, and overripe fruits to your puddling pool.
These provide sufficient nutrients and minerals for butterflies to thrive.
Large Flat Rocks
Rocks serve as sources of warmth for butterflies. These absorb sunlight, thus retaining heat in the process. You do not need many of these in your garden. One or two should serve the purpose. Such rocks also serve as resting spots during the day.
With an adequate supply of sunlight (especially mornings), butterflies can keep warm.
Trees or Shrubs
Like other plants and flowers, trees serve to attract butterflies to your farm. Apart from that, you also get an added benefit of protection against strong winds. Without a doubt, butterfly farming is best done in environments without strong winds.
Trees or shrubs stand in the way of such blowing winds thus, breaking their impact. Examples of trees that attract butterflies include Black Willow, Chokecherry, Eastern Redbud, Flowering Dogwood, River Birch, Sassafras, Sourwood, Staghorn Sumac, Sugar Maple, Sweet Birch, and Wild Cherry.
These are sources of nectar that attract butterflies to dine which in turn carry away pollen to other plants. Having these plants within your garden or butterfly farm will go a long way to ensure your surroundings stay attractive to these insects.
If you’ve always wondered about how to start butterfly farming, the above information should help you move in the right direction. We’ve covered the right conditions needed for this undertaking by discussing the trees, the weather, as well as water sources among others.
With such provisions, you’d be contributing to making the environment much safer and better.