Tag Archives: Butterfly Gardening

The Only Thing Butterflies Need?

I’m always amazed at the bad advice and misinformation you can find online. One recent article I found said, “The only things butterflies are looking for as they flutter about are flowers — nectar sources — and any colorful garden will make them feel right at home.”
The statement is actually wrong on two counts:
1. Butterflies are also looking for host plants. Nectar plants will give them energy, but they need host plants to lay their eggs. I frequently see butterflies going from plant to plant searching for the right host plant. Note – they also hunt for minerals, amino acids and all sorts of nutrients they need.

2. The second things wrong is that any colorful garden is good for butterflies – again wrong. Butterflies are looking for good nectar sources not colorful plants. Your garden could be filled with roses, yet you’d see few butterflies. Roses are not good nectar sources.

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Plantskydd for Rabbits

If you have trouble with rabbits chewing your prize plants, you can give Plantskydd a try. June Hutson of the Missouri Botanical Garden uses it and says, “Rabbits hate it and I always say if rabbits eat plants that have Plantskyd on them, they deserve to have them. It is usually quite effective.” Note – it’s quite expensive and not everyone has good luck. I don’t use it – I have too many plants to protect. I have been known to use 3′ tall plastic fencing to protect new plants, plus I have used no-kill traps to move them to a different location.
What is your answer for rabbits?

Plantskydd for Rabbits

Plantskydd for Rabbits

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Tiger Swallowtails and Sweet Bay Magnolia

Sweet Bay Magnolia and Tiger Swallowtails

If you don’t want to plant a gigantic tulip tree to attract Tiger Swallowtails, consider the smaller Sweet Bay Magnolia. You can keep it trimmed down to a manageable size to be able to find the larvae.
It also appears to be a host plant for Giant Swallowtails.

Sweet Bay Magnolia


Filed under Butterfly Gardening