Starting Your Butterfly Garden
You can either buy seeds or plants commercially or gather seeds from wild plants, remembering to observe all local regulations. Seeds gathered in fall should be planted immediately or stored outdoors in a dry place that simulates natural winter conditions as closely as possible.
Consult reference books for information on growing native plants from seed. Natural history museums, botanical gardens, and university botany and entomology departments are also good sources of information.
The following spring is the time to plant your garden. Most butterflies prefer sunny, open locations, so keep this in mind when selecting a site. Individual species will seek nectar at different times of the day, so scatter the various plants throughout the garden to ensure that at least some will be sunlit when a given species is feeding. Keeping taller plants toward the perimeter will also help.
In addition to nectar sources for adults, a complete butterfly garden will also include food plants for caterpillars, mud and water puddles, rocky areas, and shelter from rain and wind.