Butterflies – Plants to Attract

Q: I am twelve years old. My neighbor showed me four gorgeous monarch butterfly caterpillars on his fennel plant. I have decided to be the butterfly queen for my neighborhood.

What should I plant to have butterflies ?

A: Planting some fennel would be a good start. The green and yellow caterpillars will be all over your plants each August.

Did you know that you have to plant two kinds of plants to make butterflies happy? Some plants are put in a butterfly garden to feed caterpillars. Others are there to attract the adult “flutterby’s”.

Tara Dillard, a local garden designer, says parsley, butterfly weed, passion flower and elm trees  host caterpillars.

Nothing beats a combination of butterfly bush, lantana and annual zinnias for attracting the pretty adults.

If you bury one of your mother’s plastic basins in the ground and fill it with wet sand or mud, you’ll provide the other element that attracts the insects – a moist place on which to land, drink and bask in the sun.

See also

Butterfly Identification

Walter’s Butterfly Plant List

Georgia Butterfly Gardening

Clemson-Butterfly Gardening

University of Kentucky Butterfly pamphlet

LSU Butterflies

butterfly on butterfly bush

butterfly on butterfly bush

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