BST: to keep or not to keep?

another_amandaMay 4, 2011

I hadn't intended on butterfly gardening this year, but I've had 3 lovely little black swallowtail caterpillars (I think) show up on my dill plant. Judging from life cycle pictures, all 3 have reached their 5th stage. The biggest is over 4 cm and the other two are catching up.

If I keep them, will I have any dill left for me? The dill is in a 1-gallon pot and is about 1 foot high. I had intended to let my caterpillars stay, but they're chowing down faster now, and I'd like to be able to eat some through the summer (dill, not caterpillars). This is also my first year growing dill.

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Definitely keep them! They're nearly through growing and eating, so you won't lose much more of your dill, and dill regrows very quickly. They ate mine down to the nub, and it's making a lot of nice new growth.
The butterflies they turn into are just beautiful!


    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 11:13PM
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You could plant fennel or parsley as a alternate crop to feed them (or future cats) on.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 2:36PM
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The funny thing with them is the dill always comes back thicker and better I love these guys just had my first 10 only 5 made it to that size.Hope to see more soon.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Thank you! I'm glad to hear that they'll be pupating soon. Internet searches have given me no information on an average length of time. I kept thinking, "Well guys, I'd like to let you hang out, but soon you'll be the size of small dogs and I'll be out of food."

My cats are actually right next to a big pot of parsley, but they've been hanging out exclusively on the dill. I guess that's good for me, since I eat more parsley than dill. I'm glad to hear that the dill will come back nicely once they've moved on. I'll definitely be planting more of this stuff next year.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:27AM
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