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Re: question about butterflies (adam36055@aol.com)

  • Subject: [cg] Re: question about butterflies (adam36055@aol.com)
  • From: "Diane Dodge" dianefaydodge@hotmail.com
  • Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 12:35:11 -0500

Hi Emily,

You wrote:
Does anyone have any tips on what flowers to plant next spring to attact
lots of butterflies to our community garden plot? My 7 year old son is
fascinated by butterflies this summer, and I'm hoping that he still will
next summer too, and while it's too late in the season to plant new
stuff in
our plot this year, I'd like to plan ahead for next year.


Lots of pretty good answers so far, Emily. But I'd also suggest that you and your son visit your local public library and check out a field guide to butterflies of North America, and also talk to the librarian about good butterfly books for children your son's age. That way you can feed both the butterflies and your son's thirst for knowledge!

If you want to have butterflies lay eggs in your garden, you need to have the host plant as well as flowers for nectar (the lists that folks have suggested are good, but you want to make sure that they will thrive in your region). The host plant for the eggs and caterpillars is usually quite specific for each species of butterflies, and the field guide will usually tell you what it is. There are lots of excellent nectar producing species for just about everywhere, both annuals and perennials. So planting perennials can occur anytime into early fall, and you can either plant seeds or buy plants in the spring.

What an exciting project......enjoy!

Garden on,

Diane Dodge, St. Paul, MN

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