Attracting butterflies to your garden is a rewarding experience. It is important to note, though, that you must abandon the use of pesticides as they are fatal to all stages of a butterfly’s development. There are four stages to a butterfly’s life cycle: egg, larva, chrysalis (pupa), and adult. All stages of the life cycle require specific plants to ensure the attraction of butterflies. An adult butterfly lays its eggs on a host plant. The larva (second stage) emerges after about a week and immediately begins to feed on the host plant. When the larva is ready to begin the chrysalis stage, it moves from the host plant to a somewhat hidden location – out of harms way. The final stage is the adult butterfly. Butterflies like sunny locations and broad flowers.
To attract a wide variety of butterflies, try planting some of the following plants:
Host plants (larval food):
Dill (favored by Tiger Swallowtail)
Milkweed (favored by Monarch)
Queen Anne’s Lace
Nectar plant (adults):