How do we get more butterflies…plant host plants that the adults like to lay eggs on…and the baby caterpillar larvae like to eat!

red admiral butterfly

Red Admiral

Painted Lady









The Red Admiral caterpillar larvae like the plants we consider weeds…plants of the nettle family…we are most familiar with stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and maybe hops (Humulus).

Painted Lady…more than 100 host plants have been noted; favorites include thistles (Asteraceae), hollyhock and mallow (Malvaceae), and various legumes (Fabaceae).

The host plants of the Meadow Fritillary caterpillars are violet leaves…yes the ones that we try to eradicate from our lawns. Violets include the northern white violet (Viola pallens) and woolly blue violet (V. sororia).

The beautiful Swallowtail caterpillars are after celery and carrot tops, Queen Anns Lace, parsley and dill…we can handle those. Smile.

Providing host plants for butterfly caterpillar larvae is a choice and a hard one. Sometimes their food is what we consider weeds and we have to make a judgement.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 at 1:25 am and is filed under Butterflies, Gardening Tips, Insects, Wild Life. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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