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How to: Butterfly Gardening


You can easily enjoy the graceful beauty of butterflies in your garden year after year with the proper selection of their favorite plants. All butterflies begin as caterpillars and must spend this phase of their life eating, so resist the urge to reach for insecticide. Caterpillars have very specific food needs provided by plants- known as HOST PLANTS. Only when the required host plants are available can they grow and weave the cocoon in which they will transform into beautiful butterflies. Adult butterflies are usually less particular in their choice of food and are attracted to a variety of brightly colored and fragrant plants - known as NECTAR PLANTS. Plan you butterfly garden in a warm, sunny spot protected from the wind and add a shallow container of water and a few large, flat stones for the butterflies to rest and warm themselves on.

NECTAR PLANTS (to attract butterflies)

Flowers: - Aster • Butterfly Weed • Centranthus • Coneflowers • Coreopsis • Cosmos• Daisies • Gaillardia • Joe-Pye Weed • Lantana • Liatris • Monarda • Pentas • Petunias • Phlox • Pineapple Sage • Primrose • Rudbeckia • Sedum” Autumn Joy • Sweet William • Verbena • Veronica • Zinnia

Shrubs - Butterfly Bush • Clethra • Glossy Abelia • Ligustrum • Lilac • Mock Orange • Weigela

HOST PLANTS (caterpillar food)

Flowers - Baptisia Australis • Broccoli • Butterfly Weed • Cleome • Clover • Dill • Everlasting • Fennel • Glove Thistle • Hollyhock • Mallow • Milkweed • Mints • Parsley • Rue • Snapdragons • Stinging Nettle • Violets

Shrubs - Anise • Spicebush

Trees - Black Locust • *Black Willow • Elm • *Hackberry • *Sassafrass • Tulip Poplar Tree • *Wild Cherry

*Denotes native plants frequently found existing in this area.

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