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Herbs for Butterflies

By gardengus
March 11, 2012

Dill and fennel are both hosts for the Black Swallowtail Butterfly. If you plant both dill and fennel in the garden, they will cross pollinate and your dill seed will not produce a good culinary (cooking) dill.

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Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Mar 10, 2012 6:39 PM CST
Good tip gardengus. Thumbs up I am going to plant both; I would rather have the butterflies then cooking dill any day, dislike the stuff. Thumbs down Hilarious!
Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Mar 10, 2012 7:48 PM CST
I have never heard that...though I had not grown fennel, so the dill was always ok. Great tip! I tip my hat to you.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Mar 10, 2012 8:01 PM CST
I like dill.. but not fennel ... good to know though.. thanks!!!
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Mar 10, 2012 10:25 PM CST
I planted some fennel plants just recently. The fennel I'd had before died last year because of severe heat and drought. Dill doesn't do well here. We have enough host plants if the Black Swallowtails come this year.
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: Marilyn
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Marilyn
Mar 10, 2012 10:28 PM CST

Usually I plant just curly parsley for the Black Swallowtail Butterfly Cats, but one year I planted both parsley and dill for them. Thumbs up

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Mar 11, 2012 6:56 AM CST

Plants Admin

So what is hybrid dill fennel called?
Evan
Name: Allison
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Onewish1
Mar 11, 2012 6:57 AM CST
dinnel
Surprisingly GREEN Pittsburgh (Zone 6a)
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crittergarden
Mar 11, 2012 8:09 AM CST
Or perhaps "yuk".....

I was glad to know both pieces of information in your tip.
If I do grow both, I'll pull the volunteer dill-lings and plant fresh from a packet each year.
SHOW ME YOUR CRITTERS! I have a critter page over at Cubits. http://cubits.org/crittergarden/thread/view/73275/
Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
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canadanna
Mar 11, 2012 8:51 AM CST
Interesting. I love both but never get dill seedlings so no worry.. Maybe dinnel will be the next ingredient on those cooking shows.
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Mar 11, 2012 10:34 AM CST
Just have dill. Planted it several years ago and it bolted. Now I am pulling dill out of my daylily bed and the lawn!
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Mar 11, 2012 11:00 AM CST
I wonder if the neighbors dill will find it's way to my yard, I noticed last year that she had a lot of the stuff and it went to seed!! Blinking
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
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rocklady
Mar 11, 2012 5:16 PM CST
Oh dear, I hope the wind doesn't blow your way! Crying I had only one plant and the seed went everywhere
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
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
Mar 11, 2012 5:26 PM CST
Yikes!!! It usually blows in my direction, I get tons of a very nasty little daisy from her place. Thumbs down
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Mar 12, 2012 9:32 AM CST
daisies beat thistles anyday Rolling my eyes.


just in from weeding ''ouch'' Hilarious!
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
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
Mar 12, 2012 9:37 AM CST
I agree
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
Mar 12, 2012 2:31 PM CST
I agree
Any day you wake up on the sunny side of the grass is a good day.

"The moving hand writes and having writ moves on. Neither all thy piety nor all thy wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it." The Rubiyat by Omar Khayyam
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Aug 28, 2013 8:53 AM CST
What is the separation distance to keep them from crossing with each other?
I am wondering if one was sown at one end of the yard, and the other at the other end--
would they still be crossed?
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Aug 28, 2013 9:36 PM CST
My guess the distance would probably depend on the pollinators. Shrug!
The plants I grow are only separated by about 12-15 feet , because they are both in the herb bed.
I would guess if one was diligent enough to dead head the fennel before it blooms you should have good dill seed.
The caterpillars only eat the stems and leaves so it shouldn't effect them in any way to remove the flowers.
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Aug 29, 2013 9:33 AM CST
I've seen the caterpillars eat the fennel flowers, but they're perfectly happy with the rest of the plant. And once all the dill goes to seed, the fennel could be allowed to flower again if it wanted to. I don't grow dill here...it doesn't seem to like our heat. But there's a wild form of dill I've seen that grows here...even spotted caterpillars on it on rare occasion.
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

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