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Tips For Attracting Wildlife to Your Florida Landscape

by Emily Durgan | Fri, Aug 23, 2013

attracting wildlife to florida gardens resized 600Snow White had a pretty good life.

Sure, she had seven little guys running around doing her bidding — which must have been nice — but she was also friend to all the area wildlife, which means she was never without friends and always surrounded by beauty.

If you ignore the whole "poison apple" thing, it's safe to say Snow White really had it made.

You may not be able to get your spouse to help out around your landscape, let alone find seven people willing to do it, but you can surround yourself with wildlife in your outdoor living areas.

"Wait. Why do I want wildlife in my landscape?" you might ask. Well, besides channeling your inner Snow White? Many wildlife species can also help you naturally control pests that plague your outdoor areas.

And some wildlife, especially butterflies and colorful birds, are just beautiful to spot outside over your morning coffee or throughout your day. (You might even spot a Zebra Longwing, Florida's state butterfly!)

Here are a few tips on how to attract Florida's most desirable fauna to your flora!

What does wildlife need to thrive?

It actually doesn't take much to attract wildlife to your outdoor living spaces. Creating a wildlife friendly landscape requires that you provide only three things: shelter, food, and water.

If you're planning to build a garden that attracts wildlife, be sure to use pesticides judiciously, especially in areas where wildlife will be feeding.

Bring on the butterflies

Our state has butterfly species you can't find anywhere else in the world, as well as some beautiful but more common species! Attracting them is as simple as planting an array of simple, colorful flowers with plenty of room for butterflies to perch and feed. Try to plant flowers that bloom continuously, one right after the other, so butterflies have a consistent, reliable source of nectar.

Flat stones or other resting surfaces, as well as areas with puddles where they can drink, are a great addition, too.

But for a truly butterfly friendly garden, you should consider the caterpillars that eventually become butterflies, too. (Most butterfly caterpillars won't cause leaf damage!) The National Wildlife Federation has some great tips on how to cater to caterpillars.

Learn more about butterfly gardening on the University of Florida Extension's website.

Transform an unusable area for wildlife use!

Are there spots in your landscape that you've simply given up on? Whether they're too dry, too swampy, too salty or just too difficult to maintain the landscape you want, they could be perfect spots to provide the shelter, water or food that your backyard wildlife needs.

If birds are your favorite type of wildlife, for instance, consider removing plant life from the area and adding a small water feature (even a birdbath would do) and a bird feeder. There are plenty of types of birdfeeders available, ranging in cost, but the important thing is that it shields the bird food from rain and is easy for birds to spot.

The same trees making it too shady to grow full-sun plants or difficult to keep the area dry could be great nesting spots for birds when the time comes, too!

Looking to create a wildlife-friendly garden? Get in touch with the landscape professionals with GreenEarth to plan a landscape that's beautiful and welcoming to desirable wildlife of all kinds. Call our Panama City Beach office at (850) 236-1959 or our Santa Rosa Beach office at (850) 267-0010. Or, fill out the form on the right to set up a consultation and get the process started.

free landscape planning guide from GreenEarth


Image credit: Wiki Creative Commons

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