|Click on the cute caterpillar with binoculars to go to
Monarch Watch and learn all about these butterflies!
|Each species of butterfly lays its eggs
on particular plants. The caterpillars
will starve to death rather than to eat
any other plants than the ones they are
designed to eat. So, if you are serious
about attracting more varieties of
butterflies to your garden, you need to
consider the host plants that the
butterflies seek out to lay their eggs on.
Zebra Swallowtail - paw paw tree
Black Swallowtail - fennel, carrots, parsley
Giant Swallowtail - citrus tree, prickly ash tree
Pipevine Swallowtail - Dutchman's pipevine
Tiger Swallowtail - tulip poplar, wild cherry tree
Spicebush Swallowtail - spicebush, sassafras tree
Monarch - milkweed
Painted Lady - hollyhocks and thistle
Red Admiral - false nettles
Question Mark & Comma - hop vines, elm tree
Silvery Checkerspot - purple coneflowers
Sulphur butterfly - white clover and legumes
Cabbage white - nasturtium, spider flowers(Cleome)
Pearl Crescent - asters
Variegated & Gulf Fritillary - passion vines
Great Spangled Fritillary - violets
Did you know that butterflies can use the "weeds" that grow naturally in your lawn?
But, only if you have a chemical-free lawn.
Some caterpillars tend to come out at night to eat, and stay hidden during the day at the base of their host plant. Hopefully
your lawn mower blades are high enough to miss any caterpillars taking a nap under the plants. A lawn full of pretty violets,
white clover blossoms and bright yellow dandelions looks very attractive to a butterfly!
|Question Mark butterfly
|Eastern Black Swallowtail chrysalis and caterpillar
|Monarch caterpillar preparing to pupate
|Monarch chrysalis moments
before the butterfly emerges
|Butterfly Gardening Tips
|Caterpillars are very sensitive to any kind of chemical
on the plants that they eat. It is very important to not
use any pesticides or other types of poison in your
butterfly garden. We buy our plants from nurseries
that do not use chemicals on their plants.
This includes organic Bt since this
targets and kills all caterpillars!
|* * * * * * * * * Wash your hands * * * * * * * * *
Caterpillars aren't the only ones that are sensitive to chemicals. We are too! After touching any
kind of plants in your garden, it is very important that you wash your hands. Many plants contain
natural compounds in their sap or on their leaves that can cause irritation to your skin or mucous
membranes (mouth, nose and especially eyes). Examples of these plants include milkweed, rue
herb, Dutchman's pipevine, tomato plants and many others. Attention parents and teachers...
be sure to teach children to wash their hands after touching insects and plants. Some
people are more sensitive (or worse yet, allergic) to certain naturally-occuring compounds. There
have been some documented cases of severe reactions to the sap found in milkweed plants when a
person touches the sticky leaves and then rubs their eyes or inserts contact lenses without washing
their hands carefully! Gardening and raising butterflies can be a very rewarding experience. But
please, always use reasonable caution whenever you or your children handle these natural wonders.
|Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar
newly hatched and eating its eggshell
|Sweet bay magnolia
|Paw Paw tree
|Cabbage white butterfly
|Check out this link to Journey North:
|"The Life Cycles of Butterflies"
by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards
|We recommend buying plants from :