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Water is a crucial element for survival in every ecosystem but getting it can be dangerous to some of our smallest friends. Today I’m going to show you how to build a butterfly watering station. Not only will it allow butterflies to drink more safely it will help many more winged or walking critters access water with less chance of drowning.
You only need two things to build your watering station
You’ll need a bag of stones and a container that holds water in order to make the watering station. You can choose any kind of stones. For this particular watering station I used medium to large sized rounded stones I bought from our local plant nursery. In the past I’ve used those glass decor stones you find in craft stores and they worked well. The stones should be large enough to provide a safe area to for bugs to sit while still being able to reach the water.
Your container should not be too deep because you’ll want to be able to rinse it out once in awhile. I used and recommend a large plastic planter’s saucer. You can use a clay saucer but it will absorb the water and you will have to fill it more often. Some people choose to add a tiny drain hole so that the water slowly drains out. This way the water doesn’t get slimy from sitting too long. Instead of rinsing it occasionally they only need to refill it. I choose not to put a drain in mine.
Build your waterer in three easy steps!
Start by washing your rocks to get rid of dirt and debris that may be in the bag with them. It’s amazing how much dust is in there! You may not see it on the rocks but it’s there.
Put the rocks in a wheelbarrow or bucket and rinse them well with the hose then dump the water out and start over again. We rinsed ours about 3 times.
When you’re finished rinsing your rocks place them in your container. My planter saucer was either 16″ or 18″ but you can use any size. If it’s too big it may be too cumbersome to work with when you’re cleaning it and adding fresh water. I wanted something that birds could access and maybe even an occasional deer. They love the plants in this bed. But keep in mind that the main purpose of your waterer is to help the tiny critters in your garden gain access to water, safely.
Slowly add water to fill your butterfly watering station. Add more stones to areas that need a landing spot or are completely covered with water. You want to avoid large open puddles of water. Set it in your garden in an area that is easy to access and change or fill the water when it becomes dirty or dries out.
Hopefully your new watering station becomes a place that birds, butterflies and bugs visit and enjoy.