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18 Types Of Butterflies All Home Gardeners Should Know

Have you ever wondered what types of butterflies can be found in your very own backyard? As a home gardener, it’s important to know the various species that may make their home in your garden and the surrounding area. From large swallowtails to diminutive blues, there are 18 types of butterflies all home gardeners should become familiar with. So how can you get to know these beautiful, fluttering creatures? Read on to find out!

First of all, it’s essential that you understand the differences between each type of butterfly. Knowing the shape and size of each species will help you identify them when they’re flitting around your yard or flowerbeds. The color patterns present on their wings can also provide clues as to which type of butterfly it is. With a little bit of practice, soon enough you’ll be able to recognize even the most elusive members of this family!

Next, take some time to think about what sort of environment will attract butterflies into your garden. Planting flowers and other nectar-rich plants can act as natural lures for many types of butterflies. Additionally, providing areas for them to sunbathe or hide away from predators can go a long way in establishing a sanctuary for these delicate creatures. With a little bit of effort and patience, soon enough your garden will be filled with vibrant hues and graceful movements!

Identifying Butterflies

Identifying butterflies can be a tricky business for home gardeners, but it’s worth the effort! A good place to start is by familiarizing yourself with the most common types of butterflies found in the region. There are a few key features that can help you identify the different varieties. First, take note of their coloration and size – some species may have very distinct patterns or colors. Additionally, you should note any distinguishing characteristics like antennae length and shape. Finally, check for any unique behaviors like food preference or flight pattern.

Once you’ve identified a butterfly species, do some research on its habitat requirements and how to attract it to your garden. This information can help you create an environment that will sustain the butterfly’s life cycle and provide them with food sources. For example, some species require specific plant species to lay eggs on while others feed on nectar from flowers. Knowing this information can make all the difference when it comes to keeping them around for years to come!

Now that you know how to identify butterflies and create an inviting environment for them in your garden, you’re ready to learn more about their fascinating history – let’s get started!

History Of Butterfly Gardening

Who knew that butterfly gardening has been around for centuries? It’s hard to believe, but it’s true! Believe it or not, butterfly gardening is a popular hobby for many home gardeners. It’s no surprise then that there are several types of butterflies you should know about if you’re looking to start a garden of your own. Let’s take a look at the history of butterfly gardening and what you need to know.

The practice of butterfly gardening dates back as far as ancient China. In fact, legend has it that Chinese emperors would create elaborate gardens filled with colorful butterflies and plants specifically chosen to attract them. This type of gardening was also popular during the Victorian era, where people would create gardens full of native flowers and shrubs in order to attract butterflies.

Today, many home gardeners still use this same practice when creating their own butterfly gardens. By planting specific types of flowers and plants, you can attract different species of butterflies to your garden. Additionally, providing suitable shelter and food sources for these species will help ensure they stick around year-round. Once you find out which species are native to your area, you can create the perfect environment for them to thrive in your very own backyard!

It’s clear that there’s a lot more involved in successful butterfly gardening than meets the eye – so much so that it can seem like an overwhelming task at first glance! But with some time and effort, anyone can create their own beautiful oasis full of vibrant butterflies.

Monarch Butterfly

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic and beloved species that any home gardener should know. They’re like a beacon of beauty, flitting through our gardens and brightening up the space with their vivid orange and black wings. It’s no wonder that these majestic creatures have been the subject of countless works of art and literature for centuries.

But there’s more to them than just their striking looks. Monarchs have an incredible migration pattern that stretches from Mexico all the way to Canada, often taking multiple generations to complete. This makes them an important part of our ecosystem as they help spread pollen and other nutrients between different regions. Plus, they provide food for many other animals along the way, including birds, lizards, and even some small mammals.

Finally, it’s important for gardeners to be aware of how their own individual actions can affect monarchs. Things like planting native flowers in your yard or using fewer pesticides can go a long way towards providing a safe haven for these amazing insects. With a little bit of effort, we can all do our part in helping to protect this incredible species so they can continue to grace us with their beauty for years to come.

Painted Lady Butterfly

The fourth type of butterfly all home gardeners should know is the painted lady butterfly. It’s a real beauty, with its distinctive orange and black wings. This species is found on every continent except Antarctica and it’s also quite widespread in North America. The painted lady enjoys both nectar-rich flowers and cultivated vegetables like cabbage and onions.

This butterfly is a great way to add a pop of color to any garden or yard. The adult butterflies are active during the day, so they’re easy to spot when they come around. They migrate in huge numbers over thousands of miles, making them an interesting addition to any backyard habitat. Plus, their larvae feed on a variety of plants, so you can be sure that your garden will have enough food for them to grow and thrive.

Painted ladies are easy to attract with the right kind of food sources and shelter. Planting flowering herbs like dill or fennel can provide the perfect environment for them to lay their eggs and feed on nectar from the flowers. Adding plenty of sunlight is essential too – these butterflies love soaking up some rays! With some careful planning, you can create a beautiful space that’s sure to attract these stunning creatures.

As you can see, painted lady butterflies are an important species for home gardeners to know about – not only because they’re beautiful but also because they can help support your backyard ecosystem! Now we’ll take a look at another species that all home gardeners should become familiar with: the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

The fifth type of butterfly all home gardeners should know is the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly. This species is a large, colorful butterfly with yellow and black stripes on its wings, along with some blue and orange spots. It can be found in forests, gardens, and parks throughout North America.

These butterflies are very active and can often be seen fluttering around flowers or perched on tree branches. The caterpillars of this species feed on leaves from trees like cherry trees, birch trees, ash trees, and tulip poplars. They also love to eat the nectar from flowers like thistles and milkweed.

When it comes to attracting eastern tiger swallowtails to your garden, there are several things you can do. Planting a variety of flowering plants such as daisies, cosmos, zinnias, cone flowers, and black-eyed Susans will provide them with plenty of food sources. You can also provide a safe shelter for them by creating areas of tall grasses or shrubs that they can hide in during inclement weather or when resting from their long flights.

TIP: To keep your landscape healthy for eastern tiger swallowtails and other pollinators alike, avoid using chemical pesticides in your garden or yard whenever possible!

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly

The great spangled fritillary butterfly, like a brilliant gemstone, sparkles in gardens with its iridescent orange and black wings. It is one of the most sought-after species for home gardeners to have in their outdoor oasis. With its delicate beauty, it will make any outdoor area feel like a work of art.

The good news is that this butterfly is relatively easy to draw into your yard, as long as you provide the right conditions. To attract them, you’ll need lots of nectar plants such as thistles and wildflowers, as well as tall grasses and other vegetation they can use as shelter when they take breaks from feeding. You’ll also want to provide plenty of open areas so that they can bask in the sun.

With some patience and effort, you’ll be rewarded with this stunning creature fluttering around your garden. Make sure to keep an eye out for its caterpillars too! They may not be pretty, but the end result is worth it! So get started today and enjoy a beautiful display of nature’s grace in your own backyard soon!

Viceroy Butterfly

When it comes to butterfly varieties, the viceroy is one of the most popular. It has a striking appearance, with its orange and black wings. This species can be found in many areas across the United States, so you should have no problem spotting them in your garden if you live in the right area. Plus, they’re large enough that you’ll be able to spot them even from far away!

The viceroy is also an important pollinator for many flowers and plants. So not only will it add color and beauty to your garden, but it will help ensure other plants are able to thrive as well. If you’ve got a butterfly bush or other flowering plants nearby, chances are this species will find their way over and make use of their nectar sources.

These butterflies are also quite hardy and can handle cooler temperatures than some of their other relatives. In fact, they can often be seen flying around during colder months if there’s enough sunlight out – making them great companions throughout all seasons! With proper care and attention, they’ll hopefully stick around in your garden year-round.

Red Admiral Butterfly

The Red Admiral Butterfly is a common sight in gardens and parks. They’re medium-sized and can be identified by the bright red wings with a black border and white spots. These butterflies are often seen fluttering around flowerbeds, seeking out nectar. Here’s what you need to know about this species:

  1. The Red Admiral prefers warm climates, so they’re most commonly found in the southern parts of North America.
  2. Females lay eggs on nettles and other plants high in nitrogen, which is the main food source for their caterpillars.
  3. These butterflies do not hibernate during winter months; instead, they migrate south when temperatures drop significantly.

It’s essential that home gardeners monitor their yard for Red Admirals as they can become quite numerous if left unchecked. To control their population, keep an eye out for any larva or eggs on your plants and remove them as soon as you spot them. With a few simple steps, you can keep these beautiful creatures from taking over your garden! As we move on to the next butterfly species, let’s take a look at the Common Buckeye Butterfly…

Common Buckeye Butterfly

The ninth type of butterfly all home gardeners should know is the common buckeye butterfly. Boasting beautiful brown and orange wings, this breathtaking bug is a sight to behold! Perfect for any home gardener looking to add some color to their garden, the common buckeye butterfly is a must-have.

This little lepidopteran loves the sun and enjoys feeding on nectar from flowers such as phlox, verbena, and cosmos. As far as habitat goes, you’ll find this delightful creature in open meadows and fields with plenty of wildflowers. Home gardeners can also create a great environment for the common buckeye by adding flat stones or logs to their gardens – they love to bask on them!

If attracting more pollinators is your goal, then look no further than the common buckeye. Not only are they a stunning addition to any outdoor space, but they are helpful too – what more could a home gardener want? With its striking colors, it’s easy to see why this butterfly has become so popular among gardeners. Transitioning smoothly into the next section about zebra longwing butterflies without saying ‘step’, we move along!

Zebra Longwing Butterfly

Have you ever seen a zebra longwing butterfly? This type of butterfly is often found in gardens and woods in the southeastern United States. It’s one of the most common types of butterflies that all home gardeners should know about!

The zebra longwing has distinctive black and white stripes on its wings, making it easily recognizable. Its wingspan can reach up to 4 inches across, making it appear larger than other varieties of butterflies. The caterpillars are light green with dark green stripes and have yellow spots on their bodies.

This species of butterfly is particularly resilient, able to withstand a variety of conditions such as heat and drought. They also have an incredibly long life cycle of up to 11 months, which makes them well-suited for gardens in temperate climates. TIP: Planting nectar-producing flowers like lantana or verbena will attract these beautiful butterflies to your garden!

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

The 11th type of butterfly for home gardeners to be aware of is the mourning cloak. This unique species is characterized by its large wingspan and dark, velvety coloration. It has a distinctive crescent shape on the underside of its wings, as well as some blue markings near the tips. Here’s what you should know about this colorful butterfly:

  1. Appearance: The mourning cloak has a wingspan of up to four inches and is generally darker in color than other butterflies. Its body is brownish-gray with yellow spots along the edges of its wings and a black border around them. It also has a white stripe running down the center of its back.

  2. Life Cycle: Adults usually emerge in late winter or early spring and are active throughout the summer months when they are most often seen visiting flowers in gardens and parks. They lay their eggs on trees or shrubs such as willow, elm, poplar and birch, where they will hatch into caterpillars that feed on leaves until they form chrysalises in late summer or early fall.

  3. Habitat: Mourning cloaks can be found living throughout North America, from southern Canada to northern Mexico, as well as parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. They prefer wooded areas near streams or ponds but can also be found around gardens and parks if there are enough flowering plants for them to feed on.

  4. Interesting Facts: The mourning cloak gets its name from its dark coloration which resembles a traditional mourner’s cape used in funerals during the Victorian era. These butterflies are known for their hardiness and can survive cold winters by hibernating under tree bark or fallen leaves until warmer temperatures arrive again in springtime.

These impressive butterflies make an interesting addition to any home garden setting – just make sure you have plenty of flowers available so they have something to feed on! Onward to discussing another type of butterfly – the common wood-nymph – that all home gardeners should know about…

Common Wood-Nymph Butterfly

If you’re looking to add a splash of color and some drama to your garden, then you should consider the common wood-nymph butterfly. It’s a stunning creature that will make any home gardener proud. Here’s what you need to know about it:

  1. Appearance: This species of butterfly has an orange-brown body with black markings on its wings. A white band separates the two colors.

  2. Habitat: You’ll find this species in gardens, wooded areas, and meadows near streams or rivers.

  3. Feeding habits: They feed on nectar from flowers such as thistle, milkweed, and clover. They also enjoy the occasional sip from a mud puddle!

  4. Life Cycle: Common wood-nymphs go through complete metamorphosis in their life cycle—from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly. With proper care and attention, you could witness this amazing transformation in your own backyard!

This eye-catching beauty is sure to be an impressive addition to your garden. So why not give them a chance? Spicebush swallowtail butterflies are next—let’s take a closer look at these beauties!

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

Are you looking to add some color and life to your garden? Then you’ll definitely want to consider the spicebush swallowtail butterfly! This stunning creature may be small, but it packs a powerful punch when it comes to adding visual appeal.

The spicebush swallowtail is a medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of about three inches. It typically has yellow bands on its wings, with black and blue markings along the edges. Its underside is a deep orange-red color, which provides an attractive contrast. The spicebush swallowtail is also known for its distinctive tail-like appendages which extend from the back of its wings.

But that’s not all–this particular species of butterfly also feeds on several different types of plants, including milkweed and hollyhock. It prefers wooded areas and gardens with plenty of nectar sources, so if you have any nearby it may be worth planting some flowers or shrubs that can attract this beautiful insect. With just a bit of care and attention, you can enjoy having these beauties fluttering around your garden in no time!

Silver-Spotted Skipper Butterfly

The silver-spotted skipper butterfly is a beautiful species of butterfly that can be found in North America. It’s known for its vibrant yellow and black patterned wings, which feature white spots on the underside. This type of butterfly is often found in fields, meadows, and gardens, as well as near wooded areas.

To attract this butterfly to your garden, you’ll need to provide it with a food source like nectar-rich flowers. Planting a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the season will help keep these beauties coming back. Additionally, they’ll need a place to lay their eggs so be sure to include plants that their larvae can feed on such as clover and vetch.

Finally, you should also provide shelter for these butterflies by planting shrubs or trees so that they have somewhere to hide from predators or bad weather. With some careful planning, you can create an inviting home for silver-spotted skippers and other butterflies alike! By providing all these elements of a natural habitat in your backyard, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of these delicate creatures up close. Transitioning into creating a butterfly garden will make it even easier for them to stay!

Creating A Butterfly Garden

Creating a butterfly garden can be an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. All you need is some basic knowledge, a few supplies, and a lot of patience. Let’s take a look at how to get started.

First, you’ll need to find the right spot for your garden. Choose an area that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day, preferably in direct line-of-sight with any nearby water sources. Make sure the soil is well-draining and nutrient-rich so your plants can thrive. You should also consider planting an array of different flower varieties to attract a variety of butterflies.

Lastly, you’ll want to keep an eye out for pests like caterpillars and other insects that can wreak havoc on your plants. Handpicking these pests from your garden is usually enough to keep them in check or you may choose to use organic sprays if needed. Also, don’t forget about proper watering techniques! Making sure your plants are well hydrated will help ensure they remain healthy and attractive for the butterflies in your garden.

These basic tips should help get you started on creating your very own butterfly oasis! With a bit of research and preparation beforehand, you’ll be able to successfully create a beautiful place where these amazing creatures can come together and flutter around in all their glory!


The beauty of butterflies is a natural wonder that can be appreciated by all. For home gardeners, the opportunity to attract and observe these delicate creatures adds a unique layer to any outdoor space. With 18 different species of butterflies to discover, there’s something for everyone! Whether it’s a Monarch flitting by or a Spicebush Swallowtail stopping by your flower bed, creating a thriving butterfly garden is sure to bring life and joy to your home.

I remember when I first started my own butterfly garden; it was small but still drew quite a few different species. Every day I would look forward to seeing what new visitors had come to explore my garden. It was like watching an ever-changing kaleidoscope of color and pattern – like witnessing the beauty and fragility of nature in its purest form.

Creating a butterfly garden provides more than just aesthetic pleasure; it helps the environment too! By planting native flowers and providing safe habitats for butterflies, you’ll be helping pollinators do their job in keeping our ecosystems healthy. So if you’re looking for an enjoyable project that will also benefit your local environment, why not consider giving butterfly gardening a try?

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