I want butterflies!!!!

Desirai(7B)March 28, 2014

I am on a mission this year... BUTTERFLIES!!!!

I saw *ONE* monarch last year, and you know what? I think it may have been a Viceroy.. not a monarch at all!

Anyway, I have a bunch of milkweed seeds started. I am determined!!

What are some of the best plants for butterflies (especially caterpillar food?)

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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Where you are located determines which butterflies may come into your yard. For my location, I got a couple books on Ohio butterflies, figured out which butterflies I'd like to attract and what the caterpillars ate. That determined which hostplants I planted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tips How To Create a Butterfly garden

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 1:05PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Yes, KC is right. We would all love to tell you exactly what to plant, but we all live in different locations and climates. So, we each have different butterflies that might show up. You can definitely google your state or county and the word "butterflies" for some idea of what kinds you could hope to attract. Regardless which butterflies you have, you can always plant annuals or perennials that supply nectar and they will benefit any butterflies. It always helps to use plants native to your region, since the insects in your region will have evolved along with those plants. Also, those plants are almost guaranteed to grow well for you. Good luck. And if you get a list of the plants you want, some of us might have seeds or cuttings we could help you with.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 9:00AM
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Thanks for the replies,

I have already done a little bit of research. The following plants are native to AL and are host/nectar plants for some common butterflies that are known to live here, so they are the ones I am searching for (I posted this in seed trading but no luck so far):

Arctium minus (lesser burdock)
Ruellia nudiflora (wild petunia)
Aster pilosus
Hexastylis shuttleworthii
Hexastylis speciosa
Hexastylis heterophylla
False indigo
Silver cockscomb (celosia)
Smooth Blue Aster, Aster laevis
Swamp Verbena
Turk's Cap Mallow
Vicia minutiflora
Vicia villosa

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 11:22AM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Book recommendation! It will tell you what the caterpillars eat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Butterflies of Alabama

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I would look at passionvine for the gulf fritillaries. I posted a pic here the other day. They are fun to raise.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:13AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Also..plant dill and fennel....that will attract black swallowtails

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:16AM
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Aristolochia (Pipevine, Dutchman's Pipe) will attract Pipevine Swallowtails.
Pussytoes and Everlasting will make a great substitute for Burdock as a host for the American Lady, esp if you're a pet owner. Burdock tends to get caught horribly in animal fur.
Nettles will attract Red Admirals, and Globe Thistles + Hollyhocks attract Painted Ladies.
Sassafrass and Spicebush will attract Spicebush Swallowtails.
And finally Willows for that Viceroy you may have seen.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 8:53AM
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thanks everyone!!!!! :)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:36AM
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