Be a butterfly hero – our top plant picks for the Big Butterfly Count

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Be a butterfly hero – our top plant picks for the Big Butterfly Count

The Big Butterfly Count, a vital UK-wide citizen science survey, is calling on everyone to help assess the health of our environment. By counting the butterflies you see, you can contribute to valuable data that tracks butterfly populations and ecosystem wellbeing. The Big Butterfly Count kicks off on Friday, July 12th, 2024, and runs until Sunday, August 4th and the team at British Garden Centres has some great tips on plants to encourage these beautiful, winged insects to your garden.

Butterflies are more than just pretty insects. They play a critical role in our ecosystem by pollinating flowers and helping plants reproduce. Sadly, butterfly populations are declining. Your local British Garden Centres can help you transform your garden into a butterfly paradise, attracting these beautiful creatures and contributing to the Big Butterfly Count.

Plants to make your garden flutter

Lavender: Lavender isn't just a lovely-smelling herb! It's a butterfly magnet in summer. Those purple flowers are full of nectar, like butterfly candy! They bloom for ages, from June to September, keeping the butterflies buzzing with happiness. This sun-loving plant is easy to care for, just needs good drainage and a sunny spot. Plant some lavender and watch your garden come alive with beautiful butterflies!

Buddleia: Buddleia also known as the butterfly bush, is a guaranteed hit in any butterfly garden. This sun-loving shrub explodes in a dazzling display of colour from mid-summer right through to autumn. In a kaleidoscope of purples, pinks, whites, and even oranges, its blooms are a magnet for butterflies. Buddleia thrives in most well-drained soils, making it a low-maintenance choice for adding a vibrant splash of colour and a flutter of butterfly wings to your garden.

Sunflowers: Standing tall and proud, sunflowers are a joy for both butterflies and gardeners. Their giant, cheerful flower heads are packed with pollen, creating a delicious feast for butterflies throughout the summer. They are incredibly easy to grow from seed, simply plant them in a sunny spot with fertile soil, and watch them reach for the skies, attracting butterflies and adding a touch of sunshine to your garden.

Echinacea: Echinacea, also known as the coneflower, brings a touch of summer cheer to your garden with its daisy-like blooms. It boasts a delightful range of colours, including pink, purple, and white, putting on a continuous show throughout the summer months. This easy-going perennial thrives in most well-drained soils and requires minimal fuss, just a sunny spot to bask in and it will reward you with a stunning display that butterflies love.

Butterfly Lavander

More of the Butterflies Favourites

Scabious: Scabious is a perennial that brings a delightful touch to your garden. From early summer to autumn, it produces masses of tiny, button-like flowers in a delightful range of blues, pinks, and reds. This low-maintenance plant is a real trooper, thriving in most well-drained soils if it gets a sunny spot to show off its vibrant blooms. Butterflies adore scabious, making it a perfect addition to any pollinator-friendly garden.

Sedum: Perfect for busy gardeners, sedum brings a splash of colour to your garden even when the summer sun starts to fade. These striking succulent plants boast clusters of star-shaped flowers in shades of pink, red, and purple, that butterflies adore. Low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, they thrive in most well-drained soils if they get a good dose of sunshine.

Asters: These are a welcome sight in late summer and autumn, bringing a burst of colour to your garden just as other blooms start to fade. These cheerful daisy-like flowers come in a dazzling array of colours and are a magnet for butterflies searching for a late-season feast. Easy to grow in most well-drained soils and thriving in full sun, asters are a low-maintenance way to extend your summer garden and create a haven for pollinators.

Asters for Butterflies

Create an inviting habitat

Butterflies thrive in warm, sunny spots. Choose a sheltered area in your garden that receives plenty of sunshine throughout the day. Add flat rocks or stones for them to perch on and soak up the sun's warmth.

To give butterflies an extra incentive to visit, embrace a natural approach. Ditch the harsh chemicals and opt for organic pest control methods whenever you can. Leaving a little corner of your garden wild, filled with native plants or wildflowers, creates a haven for butterflies, providing them with valuable shelter and places to lay their eggs. You can even add a shallow paddling pool or small pond for them to quench their thirst. Creating a natural haven with sunshine, shelter, and minimal disruption can make your garden a delightful sanctuary for these beautiful butterflies.

Butterfly on Buddleia

Thanks for reading.

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