This Simple Hack Can Increase the Butterfly Population in Your Gardens by Up to 93%

Spring has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, and if you want to give your landscape a natural boost, experts have a simple solution: don’t cut your lawn. Gardeners and bug enthusiasts have long swore by this advice, which has now been confirmed by scientific investigation.

This Simple Hack Can Increase the Butterfly Population in Your Gardens by Up to 93%

In a new study, experts at Butterfly Conservation in the United Kingdom discovered that allowing portions of your garden to grow wild with long grass can increase the number of butterflies by up to 93%.

“Nature is in crisis; 80 percent of butterflies have declined since the 1970s, so we need to take action now to protect them,” Dr Richard Fox, Head of Science at Butterfly Conservation and research co-author, said in a statement to IFLScience.

“We wanted to be able to provide tried-and-true gardening tips that will benefit butterflies because we know many people want to help. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that permitting an area of grass to grow tall would attract more butterflies to your garden,” Dr. Fox said.

To achieve these conclusions, the team examined butterfly sightings from more than 600 gardens around the United Kingdom, which were collected by members of the public over a six-year period.

The findings revealed that gardens with tall grass had a much larger number of butterflies recorded, as well as a broader range of species. In rural areas, gardens with tall grass saw up to 93% more butterflies, whereas urban areas experienced an 18% increase.

This Simple Hack Can Increase the Butterfly Population in Your Gardens by Up to 93%

One of the primary reasons butterflies and other insects are on the decline is habitat degradation. Simply simply, fewer wildflowers and shorter grass provide less opportunities for butterflies to feed and breed. Allowing grass to grow tall and full provides vulnerable bugs with much-needed refuge and can help combat the overall trend of insect decrease.

Along with lowly grass, the study discovered that blossoming ivy can increase the abundance of some butterfly species, such as holly blue, red admiral, and comma, by providing them with a breeding habitat and nectar source.

According to the experts, even small amounts can have a significant impact. They discovered that even leaving a little patch of grass uncut could attract butterflies to return. Similarly, those without gardens can contribute by growing long grass or wildflowers on their balcony or in a window box.

“The simple act of creating wild areas by letting a patch of grass to grow long or a border edge to go wild is free and simple, and it can dramatically increase butterfly numbers, particularly in urban and agricultural environments where they are most threatened. The benefits of each individual natural place are minor, but if thousands of people get involved, the impact on butterflies may be enormous,” noted Dr Fox.


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