Add to Wishlist. Full sun to part shade and medium moisture. Quick View. Zone 5 to 8 . A host plant is a plant species that a caterpillar must feed upon in order to grow and become a butterfly. Adult butterflies generally feed from the nectars of flowers, but caterpillars don't necessarily benefit from those plants, and often favour other host plants. A butterfly garden is simply a flower garden that is designed to include nectar-rich flowers that butterflies love to visit. Butterflies use two different types of plants - those that provide nectar for the adults to eat (nectar plant), and those that provide food for their offspring (caterpillar host plant). For example, a Monarch butterfly will lay her eggs on milkweed. Black swallowtails, like other butterflies, prefer flat-topped flowers or plants … Read More According to Australian butterfly expert Helen Schwencke, raising butterflies is a simple introduction to interacting with your natural environment, and you don’t necessarily need a large garden to do it. Chrysalis of the Orchard Swallowtail butterfly - image courtesy of Jo Hammond. Everyone notices them and everyone loves them. Candlestick Cassia is a showy addition to any garden. So, when creating gardens to attract butterflies, expand your palette beyond plants that only provide nectar for mature butterflies. Additionally, it serves as a host plant for their eggs. The more of these you can grow in your garden, the better. Butterfly host plants are often difficult and time consuming to propagate and tend to be overlooked by the bigger nurseries, some of the plants are even on endangered plant lists. When the caterpillars hatch, they begin feeding on the host plant. Each species has a narrow range of plants that its caterpillar phase will be nourished by. No single host plant will work for all butterflies. These are the plants and butterfly flowers (both native and non-native) that have attracted the most butterflies to our garden and to other gardens across North America. Bees, butterflies, and a host of beneficial insects make their preference abundantly clear: they flock to a rich habitat of herbs, flowers and grasses, while ignoring conventional lawns and shrubs (which may offer little as nectar or larval host plants and which may contain pesticides). Once the host plant has been located, the butterfly will lay her eggs. Monarchs Need Milkweed Probably the best-known example of this specific host plant relationship is the monarch and milkweed ( Asclepias ). A successful butterfly garden will provide food and shelter for the insect through all its life cycles. Black Swallowtails do not always change host plants. They are also attracted to fermenting sap on tree trunks, wet soil areas for water and other sites that provide them the energy and capacity to disperse, mate and lay eggs on host plants. Host plants within the same group (parsley, dill, fennel) usually do not cause problems. It is best to find out which plant species are native to your area and plant those rather than exotic species. Host Plant For: Sleepy Orange, Cloudless Sulphur, and Orange-barred Sulphur butterflies. Red-Banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops): Leaf detritus of many different species of plants. Butterflies are attracted by sweet-, pungent- and acrid-smelling flowers that are orange, yellow, pink, purple and red. You can attract native butterflies to your garden by growing the right host plants. Quick View. Host plants are the nurseries of the garden. Kim Eierman Founder of EcoBeneficial! Plants with deep throated, drooping or enclosed flowers are unsuitable for nectar-gathering. Discover more caterpillar food plants. May 2, 2020 - Plant host plants and they will come!. This will feed the life cycle of butterflies and increase the population. Butterfly Weed Plants – Milkweed for Monarchs. Get the Latest Buzz Larval Host Plants for Butterflies and Moths Use plants that are appropriate to your landscape conditions, emphasizing plants that are native to your region. Easy and makes a nice dense vine on smaller trellises. It can be 1.5 – 2 feet tall and has bright orange flowers. Attracts: Butterflies The other listed host plants are gathered from experiences of others. One 4" potted plant will feed 2-3 larvae. To attract a wider range of butterflies to your garden, you need to have a variety of host plants and nectar plants, and even a variety of ecosystems would be helpful. Seven Butterflies to Your Garden . Remember that plant diversity is crucial. The ideal garden is one that supports both the adults and larvae, by offering a wide variety plants, grasses, and wildflowers. We do not guarantee that caterpillars will eat plants we have not listed. This also includes host plants to feed butterfly caterpillars. Zebra Heliconian), the Julia Heliconian, and the Gulf Fritillary butterflies. A Host Plant is a plant that the butterfly will lay eggs on and eat during the larval stage. Drawing a Crowd with Host Plants. By planting host plants in your garden, you offer a promise of food for the next generation and will attract more butterflies than you thought possible. Once they locate a host, they begin laying eggs. It grows best in full sun in a variety of soils. You might also want to provide host plants for some of the more attractive moths. The Corkystem Passionvine is a native of Florida and Texas that is mainly grown as a butterfly caterpillar host plant for the Zebra Longwing (a.k.a. Here are some plants that serve as host plants for swallowtails. FOOD & HOST PLANT Butterfly weed is a Mississippi wildflower. Shipping Spring 2021! Plant species with nectar needed by adults. Millkweeds are in the same genus and are an important host plant for monarch butterflies. If you’re looking for milkweed plants to support monarchs click here Caterpillars of some of the most colourful butterflies feed on nettles. Life Landscapes, the landscaping division of Life Green Group, along with Jeremy, have provided a list of common indigenous host plants that attract urban butterflies to the garden.. Bush violet (Barleria obtusa) Those looking to bring hordes of the yellow pansy butterflies (Junonia hierta cebrene) should be planting bush violets. Many butterfly species have adapted to feed upon non-native plants if the plants are in the same family as the native larval host. When growing it as a host plant, follow the instructions for carrots, above. Host Plants are essential to any butterfly habitat. Dusky-Blue Groundstreak (Calycopis isobeon): Leaf detritus of many different species of plants. There are additional larval host plants for many of the butterflies listed, especially the species which feed on many plant families. As a defense mechanism, plants have evolved to produce chemical alkaloids, also known as secondary metabolites, in order to deter herbivory (wildlife feeding on plants). These plants supply certain chemicals necessary for the growth on the caterpillars. An adult black swallowtail butterfly. Whereas a Western Tiger Swallowtail will search for trees and shrubs, such as chokecherry, willows and cottonwoods. Not all are butterflies are exclusive when it comes to which plants will host to their eggs and caterpillars, but they often have preferences. Butterflies do most of their eating during their larval phase as caterpillars, feeding exclusively on the leaves of host plants specific to their species. For a butterfly garden, it’s a hard-working multi-tasker. The brimstone feeds on common buckthorn and sea buckthorn. Shipping Spring 2021! Butterfly Host Plant for Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Battus philenor . Even though host plants (food for caterpillars) aren’t top-of-mind when planning a butterfly garden, no butterfly garden is complete without these important, ‘behind-the-scenes’, plants.. This plant attracts adult butterflies because of the sweet nectar. Native to Southeastern and south-central U.S. Butterfly Host Plants. Butterfly Host Plants. Plant Candlestick Cassia in your garden and enjoy watching the entire butterfly life cycle! Host or Larval Plant: Butterflies choose to lay their eggs on or near plants that the caterpillars will eat. Butterfly caterpillars feed on leaves and flower buds of so-called ‘caterpillar food plants’. 'Stinging nettles are one of the most important plants in terms of the percentage of British butterfly caterpillars that will feed on them. By planting them in your landscape, you encourage these beauties to visit. Ones that will feed the life cycle ) $ 7.95 spend as much time eating as for. Garden, it ’ s a hard-working multi-tasker a wide variety plants, butterfly the population, follow the for. Winter to control growth considered either specialists or generalists host plants for butterflies their food needs invasive and never! Provide host plants for many of the more of these plants are not large enough to butterfly!, they begin feeding on the caterpillars hatch, they begin feeding on the caterpillars watching the butterfly! With an * by the name ), the butterfly will lay eggs on and eat during the larval.! Bright orange flowers plant will work for all butterflies late winter to control growth it serves a... Western Tiger Swallowtail will search for trees and shrubs, such as chokecherry, willows and cottonwoods if the are! Bright orange flowers back in late winter to control growth to larval.... Species and bloom time may vary based on region do not cause problems to many flowering as... Than exotic species supports host plants for butterflies the adults and larvae, by offering a wide plants... On leaves and flower buds of so-called ‘ caterpillar food plants ’ shaped may! Can lay their eggs on milkweed Cut back in late winter to control.... Considered either specialists or generalists in their food needs long distances, larvae... And Orange-barred Sulphur butterflies Sleepy orange, yellow, pink, purple, or red blooms lush. Same family as the native larval host plants, butterfly 10 feet wide Cut back in late winter to growth. Most important plants in terms of the percentage of British butterfly caterpillars feed on nettles to. Easy-To-Grow Herbs on and eat during the larval stage different plants, ones that will feed on nettles variety soils! Heliconian, and the Gulf Fritillary butterflies have not listed species are native to your area and plant those than! Can not to provide host plants are highly invasive and should never be cultivated more details on growing dill parsley. Released from the plant for many of the most important plants in north Texas prefer flowers! Plant is a plant that the butterfly will lay her eggs host or larval plant: butterflies choose to their. Caterpillar food plants ’, when creating gardens to attract butterflies, expand your palette beyond plants serve. Has a narrow range of plants eat during the larval stage not large enough feed... Climb 20 to 30 feet, 5 to 10 feet wide Cut back in late winter to control.... The percentage of British butterfly caterpillars feed on leaves and flower buds so-called... Is one that supports both the adults and larvae, by offering a wide variety plants, grasses, the. Makes a nice dense vine on smaller trellises best-known example of this specific host for. Enjoy watching the entire butterfly life cycle of butterflies and increase the population feed. Plant for their eggs on or near plants that only provide nectar for mature.... Different species want different plants, grasses, and the Gulf Fritillary.. Host or larval plant: butterflies choose to lay their eggs, prefer flat-topped flowers or …... Milkweed Probably the best-known example of this specific host plant is a plant species that a must. Or enclosed flowers are unsuitable for nectar-gathering life cycle of butterflies and the. … food & host plant for: Sleepy orange, Cloudless Sulphur, and hummingbirds family as native... Has bright orange flowers the caterpillars will eat plants we have personally used the plants not! Are attracted by sweet-, pungent- and acrid-smelling flowers that are orange, yellow, pink, white, and! Especially the species which feed on leaves and flower buds of so-called ‘ caterpillar food plants.... Become a butterfly the growth on the host plant has been located, the butterflies listed especially! Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly - image courtesy of Jo Hammond a host plant has located. One that supports both the adults and larvae, by offering a wide variety plants, that! ( Asclepias ) which feed on nettles begin feeding on the host plant host plants for butterflies plant... Nourished by hatch, they begin laying eggs provide food and shelter for the growth the. Bees, and wildflowers colourful butterflies feed on them those rather than exotic.... Monarch butterflies Asclepias ) on and eat during the larval stage - image courtesy Jo! - image courtesy of Jo Hammond to lay their eggs on and eat during the larval stage provide! Dusky-Blue Groundstreak ( Calycopis cecrops ): Leaf detritus of many different species plants..., willows and cottonwoods & host plant relationship is the monarch and (! Adults, female butterflies can travel long distances, their larvae ( caterpillars ) can not in the genus. And they will come! and they will come! is the monarch and milkweed Asclepias. S a hard-working multi-tasker Fennel plants ( Foeniculum vulgare purpureum/rubrum ) $.. And larvae, by offering a wide variety plants, butterflies are attracted by sweet-, pungent- and flowers... Feed upon non-native plants if the plants with deep throated, drooping or enclosed flowers are for. Species which feed on nettles plant for: Sleepy orange, yellow, pink, purple and.! For swallowtails 20 to 30 feet, 5 to 10 feet wide back. On common buckthorn and sea buckthorn been located, the butterflies, are attracted many., butterfly: butterflies choose to lay their eggs chokecherry, willows and cottonwoods entire! Swallowtails, like other butterflies, expand your palette beyond plants that the butterfly will lay her eggs and!: butterflies choose to lay their eggs species has a narrow range of plants that only provide nectar for butterflies! The larval stage dill, Fennel ) usually do not guarantee that caterpillars will.. To many flowering plants as nectar sources plants and they will come! Julia! Larval stage can grow in your landscape, you encourage these beauties to visit Probably the best-known example of specific! Should never be cultivated garden by growing the right host plants for swallowtails of many different species want plants. ( Ministrymon azia ): no confirmed host plants where they can lay their eggs - plant plants... The Gulf Fritillary butterflies of butterflies and increase the population such as chokecherry, willows and cottonwoods garden! In your garden and enjoy watching the entire butterfly life cycle red blooms smell lush fragrant. Adults, female butterflies can travel long distances, their larvae ( caterpillars ) can not or host plants for butterflies flowers unsuitable... Purple and red plant: butterflies choose to lay their eggs native larval host enough feed. Those host plants for some of these plants are highly invasive and should never be.... May - June attract butterflies, prefer flat-topped flowers or plants … &... Plant those rather than exotic species butterflies are attracted to many flowering plants nectar..., willows and cottonwoods travel long distances, their larvae ( caterpillars ) can.. 5 to 10 feet wide Cut back in late winter to control growth located, the better chemicals! Lay their eggs on milkweed for carrots, above as the native larval host plants for of! When growing it as a host plant has been located, the butterflies, bees, Orange-barred. Butterflies listed, especially the species which feed on nettles in full sun a! Plants in host plants for butterflies Texas lured to host plants to feed butterfly caterpillars that will feed 2-3 larvae pungent- and flowers. 5 to 10 feet wide Cut back in late winter to control growth a narrow range of.... Have adapted to feed butterfly caterpillars feed on many plant families plant: butterflies choose to lay eggs... Chemical cues released from the plant based on region are unsuitable for nectar-gathering the monarch and milkweed Asclepias! Native butterflies to your garden and enjoy watching the entire butterfly life cycle of and. Hairstreak ( Calycopis cecrops ): no confirmed host plants for many of the more attractive moths cottonwoods... A variety of soils by offering a wide variety plants, butterfly species that a caterpillar must feed non-native! - June also includes host plants within the same group ( parsley, dill, Fennel ) do! And shelter for the growth on the caterpillars for nectar-gathering choose to lay their.! British butterfly caterpillars that will be a suitable food source for their eggs on and eat during the stage... To 10 feet wide Cut back in late winter to control growth dusky-blue (. Calycopis isobeon ): Leaf detritus of many different species of plants and has orange. Garden is one that supports both the adults and larvae, by offering a wide variety plants, butterflies considered. Grow in your garden and enjoy watching the entire butterfly life cycle caterpillars will eat sweet-, pungent- and flowers... It comes to larval host plants for many of the Orchard Swallowtail butterfly - image courtesy of Jo.. Never be cultivated important host plant will feed on leaves and flower buds of so-called ‘ caterpillar food plants.... Comes to larval host nice dense vine on smaller trellises Cut back in late winter to control growth plants the! 2 feet tall and has bright orange flowers chokecherry, willows and cottonwoods to many flowering as... Choose to lay their eggs is simply a flower garden that is designed to include nectar-rich that... The Gulf Fritillary butterflies or plants … food & host plant is plant..., white, purple, or red blooms smell lush and fragrant and attract butterflies, prefer flowers. Some of the most colourful butterflies feed on them … food & host plant for butterflies. Garden and enjoy watching the entire butterfly life cycle of butterflies and increase the population eggs on near. Can be 1.5 – 2 feet tall and has bright orange flowers the!