BUTTERFLY GARDEN - Knowledgebase Question

ft. myers, Fl
Question by robin6135
June 30, 2010
WHAT PLANTS DO WE NEED FOR THE CATAPILARS TO LAY THEIR EGGS ON AND HOW CLOSE DO THEY HAVE TO BE TO THE PASSION VINE?


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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Adult butterflies lay eggs, which hatch into the caterpillars, who feed voraciously on the "host plant." The most effective way to attract butterflies is to provide not only nectar sources for the adult butterfly but food plants for caterpillars. Butterfly larvae (caterpillars) are selective and usually feed on just one or two types of plants. If you grow these ?host plants,? butterflies will come to lay their eggs. Here's a link to host plants in Florida that includes the butterflies they attract.

http://www.afn.org/~afn10853/b...

Adult butterflies will lay eggs on the passion vine, the eggs will hatch, and the caterpillars will immediately start eating. Be warned that it can seem like they are completely devouring the plant, but if it's got an established root system, it will come back.

For nectar plants, consider lantana, verbena, salvia, mint, and rosemary. Other favorites are flowers that have flat surfaces that can be used for landing pads, such as calendula, black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, aster, coreopsis, spreading fleabane, zinnia, and gaillardia.

Good luck with your butterfly gardening!

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