Butterfly gardening helps the critical environmental process of pollination. Keeping butterflies and other pollinators in mind when selecting plants for your beds or patio containers provides a pesticide-free habitat which is declining in urban areas.
When in season, pollinator plants propagated by the Cockrell Butterfly Center are available in the Museum Store.
We recommend the following resources for more information:
- Attracting Native Pollinators. Published in 2011 by the Xerces Society, this book “is much more than a resource on how to improve habitat for native pollinators. It is a step-by-step guide for changing our stewardship of the earth; it is a tangible way for people of all ages to make a difference.”
- The Bees in your Backyard. By Joseph Wilson and Olivia Messinger Carril (2016). A guide to North America’s native bees, with good information on how to provide habitat and food for them.
- Butterflies of Houston and Southeast Texas. By John and Gloria Tveten. The best guide to butterflies in the Houston area. Extensive information on life stages, habitat, adult nectar preferences, etc.
- Life Cycles of Butterflies. By Judy Burris and Wayne Richards (2006). Beautiful, clear photographs of all life stages of 23 common garden butterflies.
- www.pollinator.org. Website of The Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit dedicated to education and action promoting practices to encourage native pollinators, especially bees. Has links to many other resources.
- www.wildflower.org. Website of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Includes an extensive database on native plant species, as well as lots of information on pollinator gardening, local sources of plants, and much, much more!
- www.npsot.org. Website of the Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Chapter. Includes a PDF of the “Native Plant Guide” for species of wildflowers, grasses, and ferns native to our area.
- www.seedsource.com. Website of Native American Seed, a wonderful source of seeds for plants native to the Texas/Oklahoma area.
- www.monarchwatch.org. Website of the nonprofit Monarch Watch, an organization that monitors the monarch butterfly migration. A good source of information not just on the health of the monarch butterfly population, but on what you can do to help “bring back the monarch.” Recommends plants for butterfly gardens, sells native milkweed plugs; provides tags for tagging fall migrant monarchs.