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Butterflies need water. They also like places to rest and warm up, says a University of Georgia gardening expert. And you can do some things to enhance your butterfly garden.
"Fill the birdbath up with clean sand and soil or clay, and level it off," says Paul Thomas, an Extension Service floriculturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. "Then, gently fill the birdbath with water until it just glistens on the surface of the sand."
Butterflies love wet sand in a sunny spot, Thomas says. You'll need to replenish the water often, though, on hot days.
Butterfly Fun With Fruit
"Another fun thing you can do is put pieces of fruit, old or fresh, on top of the sand," he says. "Pieces of old watermelons, cantaloupes, bananas, apples and pears attract butterflies like magnets."
Once the fruit has rotted or dried, he says, just remove it.
"Don't be overly concerned by the bees and other insects that also visit the fruit," he says. "It is all a part of nature and worthy of being observed."
(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)