Decks, patios, terraces and porches are prime candidates for a butterfly garden. By following some of our tips below you will be able to attract butterflies without digging one hole.

* Before you begin planning your portable butterfly garden please contact your local county extension office or garden center for information regarding butterflies known in your region.

*Growing healthy plants begins with a good potting mix. These are available at your local garden centers. If you prefer to make your own try this recipe which consists of equal parts of soil, perlite or vermiculite and peat moss. Drainage can be accomplished by adding broken pottery, a layer of pebbles or screen.

*Fertilizing is also an important consideration when growing plants in containers. Water soluble fertilizers are dissolved in water and applied through a garden hose or watering can. Slow-released fertilizers can be added when potting up plants or scratched into the soil, over time nutrients are released gradually. Once a month plants should be rinsed thoroughly to remove any excess salts that build up due to fertilizers usage. Another method of fertilizing is known as foliar feeding. This is done by spraying the leaves with a liquid fertilizer using a spray bottle. Foliar feeding is best done on cloudy days, this keeps the leaves from becoming scorched.

*One of the many rewards of portable gardening is the wide variety of containers to choose from. Experimenting with hanging baskets, window boxes, barrels and various other containers will help to create a pleasing focal point as well as attracting the greatest number of butterflies.

*Plant choices will differ from zone to zone, when you find the right plants suited for your area, vary the heights also include host plants to experience all the wonders butterflies can offer you and your family.