Flowering plants supply nectar for butterflies and larval host plant leaves provide food for very hungry caterpillars. Including these plants in your landscape creates habitat.
Additionally, butterflies can be supported in our landscapes with a Puddle Pan/Pool. The purpose of a Puddle Pan is to provide needed nutrients and water for butterflies and bees. Often, butterflies can find what they need near water or after a rain, but during a dry spell additional moisture can be hard to find. We can help them during dry spells and keep them in our landscapes by mimicking nature.
A Butterfly Puddle Pan can be made from either a deep or shallow vessel and can be made of plastic, metal, glass, or terra-cotta. Fill the pan with sand, small gravel, and one larger stone for landing. The container can be sunk in the ground if it is deep or set on the ground it if is shallow. Some people may chose to use a birdbath container. Keep the pan moist. This may require daily watering. Caution: do not allow standing water that may breed mosquitos. Moist sand is the goal.
Consider adding salt to the pan from time to time as male butterflies need additional salt. Butterflies also like overripe fruit. Occasionally, add a bit of overripe banana, apple, or orange to your pan.
Place the pan in a sunny location near the flowering plants and keep an eye out for visiting butterflies!
Cheryl A. Gross
AEMG, Plant it Wild