Butterfly-Good Bug or Bad Bug? #GardenSense

butterfly noseWe love butterflies. Bright yellow and black striped Swallowtails softly landing on a butterfly bush. Orange Monarchs feeding on milkweed. Red Painted Ladies visiting every flower in the garden.
But do we love their munching larvae?
Caterpillars can devour plants in no time. Those cute white Cabbage Moths lay green eggs that hatch into eating machines. Bye bye cabbage.
Butterflies pollinate as they feed on nectar. A very good bonus to have some butterflies around.
As gardeners we need to create a delicate balance.

Here are some tips to help you balance butterflies and caterpillars that visit your garden.

  • Plant extra caterpillar food plants just for their munching. Locate these plants away from your main garden. Here is an excellent source on what to plant to attract specific butterflies. The Butterfly Site
  • Hose eggs off vegetable plants. Get between the leaves of lettuce and cabbage.
  • Be careful raking leaves. Many species of butterflies overwinter in leaf piles.
  • Put water out in your butterfly bed for thirsty flyers.
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