While no one wants pests in their garden, one insect it’s impossible not to love is the butterfly. Not only are they beautiful, but they are actually quite beneficial to your outdoor space.
According to Butterfly Conservation, a U.K. nonprofit, butterflies provide both pollination and pest control and are indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystem. To attract them to your garden, however, you’ll need the right kind of flowers, as they have specific needs. The U.S. Forest System says butterflies prefer brightly colored flowers with a landing platform that are open during the day. Butterflies have good vision but a weak sense of smell and, unlike bees, can see the color red.
If you want butterflies in your garden, but would rather avoid the time-consuming task of figuring out what to plant, you can instead purchase flower-seeded mats that are already full of seeds for flowers that attract these beautiful creatures. Amazon currently has a two-pack of seeded mats that are priced at $16.13 for the pair.
The mats work by simply unrolling them and planting the entire mat in your yard or garden and continuing to water as the flowers grow. They can be cut to any shape to use anywhere you need them, so, while they come as a set of two, you can actually get more out of them if you want to cover even smaller areas. The mats grow a colorful blend of annuals and perennials.
The mats come with a 60-day return policy and 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if they do not lead to blooming flowers, you can get your money back, according to the seller.
The mats have more than 300 ratings from Amazon users so far, with 60% of them being at least a 4-star grade and nearly half of them being a perfect 5 stars. Pleased reviewers have said the seeds begin to sprout in as little as four days, and the mats ship quickly and are easy to use.
One reviewer recommends putting chicken wire on top of the mat so birds won’t pick at your seed bed. That particular buyer was also thrilled with the speed at which the flowers grew.
“Following the instructions, within a couple days the seeds started to sprout despite the fact a robin got in my yard and tried to scatter and tear up the paper with the seeds in it,” that Amazon user wrote. “Next time, I will cover it until it grows but for now I am anxious to see what kind of flowers are going to bloom.”
There is a notable chunk of negative reviews, however, including some customers who say the mats simply didn’t work. Keep in mind that it depends on your soil, how frequently (or infrequently) you water them, where you live and the climate there, so there are a variety of factors that may affect flower growth.
If attracting butterflies isn’t on your wishlist, you can buy mats that grow other flowers instead, including one from the same brand that will fill your yard with sunflowers. Priced the same as the butterfly mats, the sunflower mats grow blossoms in red, copper, gold, yellow and rust hues.
Other similar seed mats available on Amazon include this 7-foot pre-seeded flower mat that grows English lavender. Priced at $20, it has more than 5,000 seeds, with germination occurring in 10-20 days. Satisfaction is also guaranteed by the seller on that one.