Parsley and Dill Do Double Duty: Love the butterflies that are attracted to Parsley and Dill!

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Parsley and Dill Do Double Duty

By Newyorkrita
February 17, 2014

These two common garden herbs are useful both for adding flavor to our cooking and for attracting butterflies to our gardens as host plants.

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Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
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beckygardener
Feb 16, 2014 8:16 PM CST
Rita - I grow parsley more for the butterflies than for my family. I didn't know it, but Parsley is a perennial here in Florida. I've had the same parsley plant for 4 years growing in a container. It goes dormant in late summer/fall and comes out of dormancy in Winter/Spring. Who knew?!!!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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[Last edited by beckygardener - Feb 16, 2014 8:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Feb 16, 2014 8:33 PM CST
Humm, mine always dies but I plant more.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 16, 2014 9:07 PM CST
I just did a search and read that Parsley is a biennial plant. Mine has been growing back every year now and it has foliage once again currently. I planted it in the container garden as a young plant in early Spring of 2010. This is the 4th Winter as it was probably started from seed in the Winter of 2010 before I bought it from the nursery. It does not appear to have spread, it looks like the same old plant with new leaves every year. Go figure! It has never flowered because the caterpillars eat it down to soil level. I wonder if that is why it has never flowered and the foliage comes back every year? I bet if it were to eventually produce flowers and seeds that it would then die. I don't really know, but it is very unusual!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Feb 16, 2014 9:09 PM CST
I had no idea they were host plant for Swallowtails. Thanks Rita! I tip my hat to you.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 16, 2014 9:10 PM CST
They are host plants for the Eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Feb 16, 2014 11:31 PM CST
We learned we need to plant a LOT more parsley for these hungry guys.
They completely demolished every leaf overnight.
When we ran out of parsley the little guys went to school and we purchased parsley at the grocery store to keep them going.
Thumb of 2014-02-17/greene/3b6bbe

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Feb 16, 2014 11:40 PM CST
Wow, they were really hungry. Thumbs up
Name: Anna
Central NY (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Organic Gardener Composter Vegetable Grower Butterflies
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RavenCroft
Feb 17, 2014 6:27 AM CST
Nice article! I'm a new Monarch Waystation, & North American Butterfly Association certified garden & planted about 20 fern leaf dill on my front bank last summer, plus sowed 3 pkg. of seed in the fall. Question: Does dill re-seed itself enough so that I don't have to start it every year?
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 17, 2014 7:30 AM CST
Oh, yah, we're hungry. :greengrin:


Thumb of 2014-02-17/SongofJoy/0f57ab

Thumb of 2014-02-17/SongofJoy/eb7195

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Feb 17, 2014 8:27 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Hungry!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Feb 17, 2014 9:22 AM CST
They didn't leave much for me. Hilarious!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Feb 17, 2014 10:29 AM CST
Garden parsley seems to keep going until it blooms and makes seeds here, however long that takes it. Guess I need to start seeds now...I lost all of the ones I had last year...but there was enough for the few Black Swallowtail caterpillars that showed up. There's one wild kind of parsley that's strictly annual and I haven't seen any of those make it through the summer...they come up in spring and once they complete their seeding out, they die.
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Anna
Central NY (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Daylilies Organic Gardener Composter Vegetable Grower Butterflies
Echinacea Clematis Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Cat Lover Birds Winter Sowing
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RavenCroft
Feb 17, 2014 1:16 PM CST
Monarchs like the dill too & look so similar to the black swallowtail cats. The monarch cats are striped, but no spots.
RavenCroft Cottage .....a daylily place

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[Last edited by RavenCroft - Feb 17, 2014 1:23 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #557227 (13)
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 17, 2014 1:24 PM CST
Anna - Monarchs do not eat dill or parsley. Their host plant is different species of Milkweed (Asclepias). As far as I know, only certain Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars use dill and parsley as a host plant. Seeing two different caterpillars in the photos is actually the same butterfly caterpillar at different instar growth stages:

http://www.raisingbutterflies.org/eastern-black-swallowtail/

That is wonderful that you are developing an interest in butterflies! I hope your garden is full of butterflies this Spring!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Feb 17, 2014 1:25 PM CST
My photos are Black Swallowtail cats. It's probably my (sometimes) out of focus photography. Green Grin!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Feb 17, 2014 1:29 PM CST
Here's one of my Monarch cats.


Thumb of 2014-02-17/SongofJoy/b21f1b


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Feb 18, 2014 1:19 PM CST
Good article, Rita! Thumbs up
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Feb 18, 2014 1:23 PM CST
mcash70 said:Good article, Rita! Thumbs up


Thanks. I don't grow much in the way of herbs but I do grow both Parsley and Dill. Must be in my genes as my mom always grew both parsley and dill in her veggie gardens also.
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
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mcash70
Feb 18, 2014 1:26 PM CST
I grew parsley this past summer in a container, it did pretty well but no cats. Sad We don't like dill so didn't grow any. Thumbs down
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Feb 18, 2014 1:44 PM CST
Margaret, the backyards birds do unfortunately like to eat up the caterpillars. I have so many birds in the garden here and so do you that I am not surprised some sharp eyed birds found an easy meal. Such is nature.

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