The Q&A Archives: Beginner Butterfly Gardening/Seed Starting

Question: Hello,
When planting a butterfly garden, I understand there are many different elements to it. I was wondering is there any certain arrangement I need to follow as far as where i locate my plants for the larvae to feed and to attract the adults. Do I put all my feeding plants for the larvae at one end and ones to attract adults at the other or just a mixture of them? Also I have a problem with my seeds that i have started indoors, they sprout great but get tall and spindly and fall over under their own weight. HELP

Answer: If your seedlings are getting spindly and falling over, they're not getting enough light. You can prevent this from happening by investing in a shop light (the kind with two fluorescent bulbs). Hang the light 3-4 inches above the seedlings and move it up as they grow. Keep the light on 14-16 hours a day and your seedlings should be stout and healthy.

Butterflies like lots of different flowering plants and if the adult butterflies like what you have in your garden they will lay eggs on the plants that will be just right for the larvae to feed upon. The arrangement of your plants in the garden won't make any difference to the butterflies - they'll seek out their favorites. So, plant everything in an arrangement that pleases you and the butterflies will come.

Best wishes with your garden - and with your seedlings.

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