Show #429/4103. Keeping Our Gardens In Harmony With The Environment
Do You Want Butterflies?
BUTTERFLIES ARE ANOTHER GARDEN FAVORITE. That is probably because of the - double your pleasure aspect. One gets beautiful butterflies, but also a lot of great looking plants because it takes pretty flowers to attract adult
butterflies. But there are 2 groups of plants that a gardener must raise to have a lot of butterflies. One needs the larval food plants but with them one must tolerate the chewing of the caterpillars which are needed to hatch
out pupae which turn into adult butterflies that then come to your beautiful flowering plants. Thus the caterpillars aren't all bad, one must tolerate them. Let them chew on their plants.
The nectar producing plants cross a broad range that offer interest from early in the year throughout the summer. Sonchus oleraceus Thistles are one of the early flowers. Lantana camara lantana is a fantastic nectar flower,
Lantana is native to the Southern Sonora Desert region. There is white Lantana which is used throughout the country. Color-wise purple, pink, white and yellow are good choices for butterflies. Tithonia fruiticosa Mexican
Sunflower Bush is one of George's favorites.
Always be careful using pesticides in a garden that attracts butterflies. Insecticides kill insects. If you want butterflies, minimize the use of insecticides, use it at specific times of the year only, but absolutely minimize
the use of insecticides. A narrow window or don't use it at all, is Richard's philosophy.
By Kate Karam, Monrovia,
Photographs courtesy of Monrovia
We love vines for all the garden problems they help to solve (covering things up, blocking things out, making the kinda ugly, pretty) but climbing vines–whether those that cling by aerial rootlets, or those that need the support of a trellis or other structure–are also a welcome sight for wildlife passing through.
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