What better way to enjoy your personal space than to add a butterfly garden? It is fun and educational allowing us to obtain that new “green feeling” of being one with nature.
A basic understanding of the life history of butterflies, their food needs and the plants that provide shelter is all the information you need to plan and grow a garden suited for butterflies. A knowledge of local butterfly species and the plants that are specific to them is also necessary.
Butterflies are most abundant spring through fall. Several species of butterflies-monarchs, cloudless sulfurs and snout butterflies- migrate during late summer and fall. Plants that flower throughout the summer and into October and November attract these migrating butterflies.
Excellent nectar sources that are offered at Heirloom Gardens include:
|White Mist Flower, Eupatorium wrightii||Almond Verbena, Alloysia|
|Blue Mist flower, Eupatorium greggii||Butterfly Bush, Buddelia species|
|All Lantana Species||Cestrum species|
|Salvia x ‘Indigo Spires’||PorterWeed species|
|Salvia coccinea||Roadside Verbena|
|Other asst Salvia species||Queen Anne’s Lace|
|Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberose||Coreopsis|
|Mexican Mint Marigold, Tagetes lucida||Coneflower|
|Common Button bush, Cephalanthus occidentalis||Alyssum|
Many flowers are used by passing butterflies, but the “five course meal” are those that provide a lingering visit for our fluttering friends in a place of a “quick bite.”
Most species of butterflies over winter as one of the developmental stages of the egg, caterpillar, pupa ar chrysalis. Most caterpillars develop through the first stages, molting between each stage, over 2-6 weeks before forming a chrysallis. Pest management in a butterfly garden a lot on the “side of caution.” Remember, when treating insect infestations, nearly every method will directly affect the life stages of the butterfly. Plant enough to take care of the hungry caterpillars!
Host plants for butterfly larva are
|Passion Vine- Gulf Fritillary|| ||Parsley- Black Swallowtail|
|Sweet Fennel- Black Swallowtail||Yarrow Species- Painted Lady|
|Bronze Fennel- Black Swallowtail||Artemesia-Painted Lady|
|Butterfly Weed- Monarchs||Aster species- Pearl Crescent|
|Dill- Black Swallowtail||Bidens sp. - Dainty Sulfur|
|Plumbago- Cassius Blue and Marine Blue||Purslope- Variegated FiHillary|
|Queen Anne’s Lace|