Creating a butterfly garden

 Who doesn’t delight in watching butterflies floating over a garden on a still, warm day?  

There are a little over 400 species in Australia, and a search of the Queensland Government’s WildNet Database reveals a total of 136 species for the Toowoomba Region. But we tend to notice only the largest and most colourful. 

If we want to attract these beautiful, varied, insects into our gardens we need to create a sheltered spot away from the wind where they can warm up in the morning sun but can retreat into the shade when it gets too hot. Butterflies need nectar to feed on, and the plants that support their caterpillars.   

Nectar — which flowers do butterflies favour?  Butterflies have a long proboscis that can probe deep into long, tubular flowers, but they also like the small florets at the centre of daisies. Colour plays a part in attracting butterflies to a flower, with a preference for pink, red, and yellow flowers. 

Caterpillar food plants — growing these will support the whole life cycle ​— egg, caterpillar, pupa, and eventually the butterfly.  We have provided you with a list of known host plans for the butterflies in our region, together with photos. 

Useful links

An initiative of Brisbane Catchments Network (BCN) and all its member groups, the project is a direct results of BCN’s Biodiversity Strategy and aims to engage Brisbane residents of all ages and knowledge levels, provide learning opportunities and the gathering of local butterfly data. 

Brisbane Insects and Spiders