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The Truth About Butterflies and Buddleja vs. Native Plants

By clintbrown
December 8, 2013

I recently learned that some native plant promoters are claiming that gardeners should not grow Buddleja (Butterfly Bush) because it fools butterflies into thinking it is a host plant. They claimed that the butterflies would deposit their eggs on the Buddleja and the offspring would die because Buddleja is not a proper host plant. However, I researched this claim and found it to be 100% FALSE!

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Feb 15, 2018 3:11 PM CST

I agree, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding Buddlejas. The bigger issue is that Monarchs along with many Butterflies, Important Native Pollinating Bees, and Beneficial Insects are in decline and need our help. So we really need to encourage folks to plant as many Native Species as possible. You see, some plants may provide nectar but not be a "larval host"...which is what we need...more "larval host" plants if we want to do something good for Monarchs, Butterflies, Birds (who rely on insects to rear young), Native Bees, and Beneficial Predatory Insects. In addition, many "seedless" or other cultivars produce No Pollen (critical food and nesting source for bees), or a de-graded quality of Nectar. My neighbor recently had an entire row of Buddlejas planted along our shared fence line. None are sterile or they are now growing all over my garden. This is because many nurseries are not aware of the problem, producers/growers have not changed over to the seedless variety...and there is research out there to show that some species are still going to seed. So they are still out there. As a Master Gardener and Organizer of Non-native, Invasive Species Pulls in my area, the last thing we need is to add to our already growing list of Invasive Species in our natural areas. Food for thought...feed the Butterflies, Birds and Bees...Grow Native :-)

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