Adventure Arkansas: Butterflies at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

This week for Adventure Arkansas we are butterfly watching! We drove the Adventure Subaru to the botanical garden of the Ozarks to check out their native butterfly house. We spoke with Kitty Sanders, a Butterfly Expert, to learn about their migration through Arkansas and how you can get more of these winged creatures in your backyard.

“The monarchs migrate through here in April and lay the first generation of eggs and then those migrate north,” said Kitty Sanders, Butterfly Expert. “In late summer and fall, they start coming back through, and the most important things that we can have for them at the time are nectar plants because they need to be fueled.”

“It’s good to come in July and August and into the Fall,” said Sanders. “We’re slow sometimes in the Spring with the cold weather, so you don’t see the same variety every time you come because of that life cycle; you need to come more than once.”

So how can we get more butterflies in our own backyard?  Well we must consider their entire life cycle.

“We wanted to show the whole life cycle, that was a part of the big educational thing we wanted to share,” said Sanders. “We also wanted to share what kinds of plants people should put in their gardens to help butterfly populations and to help understand that you need host plants not just nectar plants.”

“So, if you want a butterfly garden people think, oh I just need to plant lots of flowers, well that just helps the adults, not the egg-laying or the caterpillars part of the life cycle,” said Sanders.

The butterfly garden is different from some tropical butterfly houses you might have been to, where you are encouraged to convince the butterflies to land on you because they are constantly importing new butterflies.  Here, they want to protect the ones we have because it is a sanctuary.

So, when you come to the butterfly garden, they ask you not to touch the caterpillars or have the butterflies try to land on you because of two things. First, they are very delicate. Second, even the oils, bacteria, and lotion from your skin can be harmful to them.

With Adventure Arkansas and hanging out with the butterflies Where You Live, I’m 5NEWS Meteorologist Matt Standridge.

Follow the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks on social, here!

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks Website

List of Nectar and Host plants

Segment Sponsored By: Adventure Subaru