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Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Mar 29, 2017 3:45 PM CST
I'm asking for any advice about doing something on purpose that I did a few years ago by accident! I never heard of such a thing, and maybe five or six years ago, I came out on my deck and saw these green and black concertinas on my parsley in the middle of summer -- they were stunning. But I didn't want to lose my parsley, so I gently encouraged them, must have been about eight of them, onto a maple leaf, and then transferred them to hosta out into the garden. I researched them later out of curiosity and found out they were parsley worms. Oops! I saw the kind of butterflies they become, gorgeous, but while my area then had more beautiful butterflies than it deserved, I couldn't see that happening. Never saw another worm. The next spring, this breathtaking butterfly shows up on my deck -- it was that one!! And there were about three at any given time and they hung out all summer. Now that I'm in new digs, I want to put out parsley plants dedicated to them -- I have a couple of deck boxes that lasted longer than their brackets, and I'm thinking if I plant them in parsley and put them out at the perimeter of the property, it will encourage them and leave them in peace. I didn't see one blessed butterfly here when I moved in last summer, so I'm making big changes this spring, but is my plan for the parsley a good one, any recommendations? Thanks!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
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mellielong
Mar 30, 2017 6:19 PM CST
They like parsley, fennel, dill, and rue so plant a mix if you like! Warning though - you will have more caterpillars than the plant can support unless the birds get to them first. And the birds do like to eat them. FYI, it's the Black Swallowtail caterpillars you're seeing. I know they have the "parsley worm" nickname, but I like to be accurate. Where are you located? It's always helpful to know that.

I'm near Tampa, FL and I've seen Swallowtails, but not the Black Swallowtails, yet. I did see them down in Sarasota, but they haven't found me yet. They always do, though. I raise mine inside most of the time. I'm lucky that the grocery store near me sells organic parsley that's safe for the caterpillars. They eat my Rue to bits so I have to supplement.
Name: Abbey
Eastern New York State (Zone 6a)
Bookworm Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Garden Photography Garden Art Birds Region: New York
Herbs Container Gardener Annuals Dog Lover Butterflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
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Garden10
Mar 31, 2017 8:31 AM CST
Parsley worm is what they called it when I researched what on earth this thing was when I found it a few years ago, my family raised parsley every year and I had never seen it before, and if my grandfather had found it eating his parsley, I would have heard about it in no uncertain terms, in two languages! I thought it was sweet that the woman who answered my question said she always plants additional parsley especially for them. And I saw pictures of the Black Swallowtail butterflies when I read that article, but never in a million years thought I would see any in person. But when I saw them the following year, I couldn't get over it. That was about three years ago now, never saw them again, caterpillar or butterfly. I think I'm going to learn a lot from you!

I didn't think about the birds, so I guess I should keep the parsley on the lower deck where I have some control, even though I really don't have any birds. I can't shake the feeling that I'm going to put a lot of time, money, work, research and hope into my new property, just to end up with some gladiatorial Darwinian bloodbath by the 4th of July!!!
"Every now and then I leave the book on the seat and go and have a refreshing potter among my flower beds from which I return greatly benefited, and with a more just conception of what is worth bothering about, and what is not." The Solitary Summer -- Elizabeth von Arnim

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