Insects have a pretty crummy reputation. Not too many people are enamored with flies, roaches, or wasps. Yet, there are a few exceptions, such as ladybugs, honeybees (in the right setting), and of course, butterflies. Who doesn’t appreciate butterflies? We’re taken with their beauty, and we hope they’ll visit our gardens. Happily, there are a number of steps we gardeners can take to encourage these “flying flowers.” Creating a landscape that welcomes butterflies isn’t difficult, and it will appeal to people just as much as it does to the butterflies.
Most importantly, don’t spray insecticides in your yard. You’re trying to encourage butterflies and caterpillars, not kill them! If you do have a pest problem, make sure to identify the culprits before taking action. Sometimes spraying isn’t the best option. If you decide you need to apply a pesticide, use it selectively on the plants under attack. Don’t go wild with the sprayer.