Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Butterfly meadow ideas

Posted by forestexplorer 7b (My Page) on
Sat, Feb 4, 12 at 21:48

There is a long stretch of lush turf on the western border of my yard that i would like to make an attraction to butterflies. My plan is to plant specimen perrenials sporadically throughout the stretch. I'm not so focused on the asthetic value of the plants plants themselves but their ability to attract butterflies and other insects Any reccomendations would be greatly appreciated..

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Butterfly meadow ideas

You're in the same zone as I am, so perhaps some that did well in my yard will work in yours.

Lantana, Buddleia (butterfly bush/butterfly weed), Agastache (Anise hyssop), Brazilian Verbena, Purple Coneflower, Joe Pye Weed, Mistflower.

Good luck to you!


RE: Butterfly meadow ideas

You should also plant host plants for the butterflies. That will bring in the females to lay eggs and of course, who shall follow but the males! Then of course you will have the chrysalis eclose with new butterflies to keep the cycle going.

Not sure where you are but search the FAQ for host plants for the different butterflies and come back to tell us where you are. Then people in your area can give you feedback on specific species to attract.

RE: Butterfly meadow ideas

Oh sorry, Spartanburg, Upstate SC. I was thinking i could attract a few swallowtails, painted lady butterflies, and skippers. Perhaps plant some dill or parsely in thickets of herbs for the caterpillars, which i think are equally if not more interesting than the butterflies!

RE: Butterfly meadow ideas

Meadows don't include "lush turf." At my first house, I had a 30' X 30' area that became a meadow. I got away with it because of some very specific circumstances. I'm working on going that way again but it is a piecemeal operation right now. Grab a chunk here and there, and someday it will be a meadow. Good planning and knowing your state's laws comes in handy (don't have something like Queen Anne's Lace which is an official noxious weed in Ohio).

Anyway, "lush turf" is some form of European grasses. While some skippers use fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass as hostplants, code enforcement will require you to keep it cut so the cats lose. This is why you switch to native grasses. Those grasses are considered landscaping. Choose the ones that local skippers, satyrs, and woodnymphs use. Add clover which is good for ETBs, cloudywings, and sulphurs. The only clover I can confirm as useful is Trifolium repens, but it is not native so it to tougher to defend against code enforcement.

Get some wild senna for cloudless sulphurs. Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum) for checkered whites. Throw in some Zizia or Mock Bishop's weed for BSTs. Poke or swamp milkweed for monarchs. Carolina wild petunia for buckeyes. Something in the Antennaria genus or maybe Gamochaeta falcata for American Ladies.

Painted ladies have the most varied hostplant list of any butterfly in the US. I suggest getting suggestions from someone local that has had some success.

False nettles are native to SC and good for red admirals, eastern commas, and question marks.

Anyway, I say make it a real meadow, make it big, and make it native to SC. The butterflies will come.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here