Happy Holidays and New Year's Wishes
Happy holidays to everyone! Thought we might include some of our wishes, hopes, plans for our 2013 butterfly gardens.
I plan to add a larval host plant or more for the Painted Ladies. I get them every year, and never have anything for them to lay their eggs on. American Ladies as well.
Possibilities include Hollyhocks (altho I've grown them before many times, and never had larvae on them), Thistle, Helichrysum, Pearly Everlasting, Pussytoes.
More Tropical and Oscar milkweed.
Plant several Rue plants to supplement Fennel, and to attract Giant Swallowtails.
Choose three Tropicals for potted plants. Won't go with the Miami Sunrise Tecoma because it did not attract any hummers or butterflies. Would like to try the Blue Porterweed this year, and need two more suggestions if you guys have any. Will order from Almost Eden.
Plant small patch of dwarf Snapdragons or Diascia for the Buckeyes. I get them I think because they love the Verbena bonariensis so much.
Recap of 2013:
I had tons of butterflies in spring - Variegated Frits, Clouded Sulphurs, Dogface Sulphurs, Red Admirals, Mourning Cloaks, Question Marks. Virtually no swallowtails this year.
Summer was pretty barren of butterflies, except for the Gulf Fritillaries, which arrived in late summer, around latter part of July. Had a lot of them up until December 1st which is very, very late for them.
Fall populations increased to include Gulf and Variegated Frits, Monarchs, American and Painted Ladies, Dogface Sulphurs, Clouded Sulphurs, a few Cloudless Sulphurs, a few Black Swallowtails, Buckeyes, and of course, my crowning glory, one spectacular, fresh Great Purple Hairstreak! I had numerous Skippers in the fall as well.
All in all, the overall picture was good, but the heat of summer and the drought deterred a lot of butterflies from making an appearance IMHO.
I hope you and your family's have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!