Attract hummingbirds and butterflies by growing flowering plants rich in pollen and nectar; blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs are best. To build a thriving community of hummingbirds or butterflies, feed the adults and their young.
In the case of butterflies, diets are different for the mature and for the young; for hummingbirds, they are similar. Caterpillars, the young of butterflies, feed upon leaves while the adults feed upon flowers, but both feed upon plants that produce a lot of pollen. For butterfly larvae, good examples of this are dill, fennel and milkweed. Fully grown butterflies and hummingbirds of any age prefer flowers high in pollen like dahlias, delphinium and verbena.
Hummingbirds in a given square acre of property increase in number if the land is free of predators and parasites harmful to the bird's species. Since food and water are vitally important, many hummingbird enthusiasts reinforce the birds' diet with homemade nectar. A sheltered feeding location is useful for a hummingbird owner since people in contact with the local feeding pump might be infected with contagious disease. Avoid feeding hummingbirds, butterflies or butterfly larvae food sprayed with insecticide; these chemicals are harmful or even deadly to those creatures and their ecosystems.