By Angela

Planting a Caterpillar Nursery/Butterfly GardenParsley, Dill Seed Packets

To plant a Caterpillar Nursery, purchase some seed packets of:

  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Fennel

swallowtail caterpillar2black swallowtail butterflyThese plants are easy to grow by seed and have attracted Black Swallowtail butterflies and their caterpillars in my gardens. In 2007, I planted a Caterpillar Nursery in a black container made for a water garden. This year, I have planted parsley and dill in a couple of rectangular containers.

monarch caterpillar2monarch butterflyIf you have some Milkweed growing in your yard, consider letting it grow – it’s a wonderful food source for Monarch caterpillars, and nectar source for the Monarch butterfly.

Some flowers which are easy to grow by seed (therefore, less expensive than buying Butterfly flower seed packetsplants which have already been started) include:

  • Aster
  • Dianthus
  • Moss rose
  • Salvia
  • Sweet peas
  • Zinnia

Butterfly Water 2007-01Also consider putting out a water dish for your butterflies. This consists of a saucer, such as a planter saucer for a large flower pot, and some play sand. Fill with water so that butterflies can stand on the sand and drink the water and minerals with their tongues. Place a medium-sized stone inside the water dish to allow a place for butterflies to warm themselves and raise their body temperatures.

Interesting facts about Monarch butterflies:Monarch Migration

  • It takes 4 generations of Monarchs to migrate from Mexico, up to Canada, then back to Mexico
  • The 1st generation flies from Mexico to the lower United States
  • The 2nd generation flies from the lower U.S. to the mid United States
  • The 3rd generation flies from the mid United States to Canada
  • The 4th generation flies from Canada to Mexico – about a 3,000 mile trip!!!

If you find these facts fascinating, you might be interested in the following link to Monarch Butterfly Journey North. (http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/AboutSpring.html)

© Angela Cramer, 2008-2009

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