Butterfly Gardening

Purple coneflowers with Tiger ST

Butterflies are nature’s gift to the environment! 

When butterflies are released in the wild, you are helping encourage pollinators. Butterflies are important pollinators. We need to be aware of the loss of their habitat, lack of food sources, sites for mating, roosting and migration, use of pesticides, lack of floral diversity, prevalence of predators and climate change. Butterflies are also part of the food chain. Without butterflies our lives would be greatly compromised, along with much of the natural world.

Social Butterflies encourages the planting of  butterfly plants in your garden or in containers in your landscape.

Butterflies need nectar from flowers to feed on, these are referred to as NECTAR plants. Every butterfly species requires certain plants to lay their eggs on, which are called HOST plants. You’ll want to plant both kinds of plants to attract butterflies.

Host plants for caterpillars (larvae)

  • Monarchs – milkweed
  • Eastern Black Swallowtails – Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Tiger Swallowtail – Willow, Tulip Poplar, Wild Cherry
  • Painted Lady – Thistle, Hollyhock, Mallow
  • Great Spangled Fritillary – Violet
  • Variegated Fritillary – Violet, Passionflower, Pansy
  • Zebra Swallowtail – Pawpaw
  • Spicebush Swallowtail – Spicebush, Sassafras
  • Red Admiral – Nettle, False Nettle
  • Buckeye – Plaintain, Verbena, Snapdragon
  • Silver-Spotted Skipper – Wisteria
  • Giant Swallowtail – Rue, Citrus, Hop Tree

Attract butterflies with a Backyard Butterfly Banquet

Backyard Butterfly Banquet

Everything you need to get started attracting a variety of species to your yard, how to raise them and other interesting facts of the lifecycle of everyone’s favorite insect! Kit includes “The Life Cycles of Butterflies”, colorful 39-slide CD with 3 pages of explanations on butterfly gardening, host and nectar plant seeds, mesh cage suitable for raising caterpillars and observing adult butterflies, paint strainer for outdoor butterfly projects, and full instructions. Enjoy hours of observing YOUR butterflies!