Plan a Butterfly Garden with Native Plants


This post is sponsored by PlantSnap. All opinions are my own.

Back in college, I had to take an elective science course. I wasn’t sure which to take, so I went with whichever course fit into my schedule the best. The result? Entomology {the study of insects}. It wasn’t anything that was particular interesting or relevant to me, but it ended up being one of my favorite classes, and as a mom, I’ve used what I learned to teach my children all about bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects we find outdoors.

North-Central Florida is home to so many amazing insects, like the gulf fritillary pictured here and big fuzzy bumble bees. Our house is located in a community surrounded by wooded areas with beautiful, tall trees and flowering plants. To create a living environment that helps the butterflies and bees thrive, we decided to plant a butterfly garden outside of our home. We wanted the garden to be filled with native plants to attract the insects that naturally occur in our region of Florida.

But how would I know which plants would attract native wildlife? I took a walk through my community with my smartphone. I downloaded the PlantSnap app through the App Store. I looked for butterflies and bees on plants, used the PlantSnap app to take a photograph of the plant. This app is so cool because it identifies the plant so that I can try to locate it at a nearby nursery and add it to my butterfly garden. There’s also a big butterfly plant sale at the Florida Museum of Natural History next month, so I’m keeping a list to try to find those plants there.

So here’s how the app works! First, I located a butterfly on a plant within my community.

Next, I took photos of the plants close-up using my PlantSnap app. Be sure to get the flower and a leaf and avoid including other plants in the image. After snapping the photograph, you will be able to crop it smaller to really target a flower and leaf.

PlantSnap will then give you a list of possible plants. I generally click through the list, look at the other images, and look at the region where that particular plant grows. When you find a match, you accept it, and it is added to your collection. Your original photograph will appear next to the specific plant species. Here’s my collection of native butterfly plants.

Now, I’m ready to head to a plant sale or local nursery to purchase plants to fill my butterfly garden! PlantSnap can currently recognize 71,000 species of plants and trees, which covers most of the species you will encounter in North America and Europe. It’s also ad free, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary disruptions while using the app. The PlantSnap app can be used in so many different ways:

  • Identify unknown plants while on a hike
  • Identify plants in your own yard to complete a landscaping project
  • Identify plants while on a vacation far from your home
  • Teach your children about the types of plants within your community
  • Play a game where you try to find a plant of each different color, size, etc.
  • Test your own knowledge of plants by guessing what type it is and checking with the app

How would you use the PlantSnap app?

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia {age 8} and Bryce {age 6}. Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.

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