Give Butterflies a Drink

Give Butterflies a Drink

In addition to nectar-rich flowers, butterflies also need a fresh water source in your yard.

By Karen Weir-Jimerson

If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, you need to plant nectar-rich flowers for pollinators to feed on. But butterflies also need a regular supply of fresh water.


How Butterflies Drink in Nature

You may have seen butterflies drinking at the edge of puddles. Or, you might have seen butterflies lighting onto the open ground near a creek. Butterflies take advantage of fresh water sources as they find it -- it’s called puddling.

According to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), you can increase the number of butterflies in your yard by giving butterflies a place for puddling. “Butterflies often congregate on wet sand and mud to partake in "puddling," drinking water and extracting minerals from damp puddles,” according to their website.

Create a Butterfly Puddling Area in Your Garden

You can make your own puddling spot, right in your garden. You need these simple things: a shallow water-tight dish, coarse sand, a flat stone or two, and fresh water.

Position the dish in a sunny spot.Add a layer of sand and place the flat stones into the dish. The stones provide a resting spot for butterflies who may light there to catch some rays to warm up their wings.

Add water to the dish until it soaks the sand. Butterflies can sip the water from around the wet sand particles. Keep the sand moist, replenishing the water daily, so butterflies will rely on your backyard water source.

Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson