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Butterfly Garden

Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. In February and March, the final generation of hibernating monarch butterflies comes out of hibernation to find a mate. They then migrate north and east in order to find a place to lay their eggs. This starts stage one and generation one of the new year for the monarch butterfly.

In March and April the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch. Then the baby caterpillar doesn’t do much more than eat the milkweed in order to grow. After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so that it can start the process of metamorphosis. It will attach itself to a stem or a leaf using silk and transform into a chrysalis. Although, from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. The monarch butterfly will emerge from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers and just enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. This first generation monarch butterfly will then die after laying eggs for generation number two.

The second generation of monarch butterflies is born in May and June, and then the third generation will be born in July and August. These monarch butterflies will go through exactly the same four stage life cycle as the first generation did, dying two to six weeks after it becomes a beautiful monarch butterfly.

The fourth generation of monarch butterflies is a little bit different than the first three generations. The fourth generation is born in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third generations except for one part. The fourth generation of monarch butterflies does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of monarch butterflies migrates to warmer climates like Mexico and California and will live for six to eight months until it is time to start the whole process over again.

Scientists, environmentalists, and politicians have brought habitat destruction and the cost that has for wildlife to the attention of people around the world. In response, many people have begun work to preserve the natural areas that still exist and to restore other areas that once served as home to wild animals and plants. Schools can also take part in this preservation and restoration movement by making their yards more friendly to wildlife.

A beautiful and fun way to do that is to plant a butterfly garden. For people, like you, who are interested in monarchs, a butterfly garden is an easy way both to see more monarchs and to contribute towards their conservation. And if you plant a garden, you'll be able to watch not only monarchs but also many other butterfly species right in your backyard.

A butterfly gardener reaps many rewards. People usually enjoy the same colorful flowers butterflies prefer, so a butterfly garden can win compliments from you and your neighbors. If you plant a butterfly garden where there used to be lawn, there is also less grass to mow, which means less work with the lawn mower as well as less air and noise pollution if your mower runs on gas. Butterflies like lots of different plants, so creating a garden adds biological diversity to your yard. Diversity can reduce populations of pest insects by making it harder for them to find their host plants. Butterflies also often like native plants. Including those species in your garden usually means less maintenance, since those plants are used to the natural weather conditions in your area. Butterflies themselves are an important part of the ecosystem, and can pollinate many plants.

Butterflies are easy to watch, since they're active during the warm parts of the day. They also have many interesting behaviors. After rain, for example, you might see them "puddling," or sucking fluids from wet soil to obtain water and salts. On cool sunny mornings, they often bask on a rock to warm their muscles enough to power flight. Males are often territorial, chasing other males away and trying to attract females, and females often have elaborate routines for choosing where to lay their eggs. With a pair of binoculars, a good field guide, a variety of flowers in bloom, and a sunny calm day, you can sit in your yard and, with practice, identify many different butterfly species. Are you missing that one species you really want to see? Next year, include its favorite plant in your garden.

To get the most out of your garden, be sure to include both caterpillar food plants and butterfly nectaring plants. Having caterpillar plants in your garden means butterflies are more likely to linger and explore possible sites to lay eggs. It will also increase your chances of observing both mating and egg-laying behaviors, as well as the complete butterfly life cycle from egg to adult.

Your butterfly garden can be any size, from a window box to a portion of your landscaped yard to a wild untended area on your lot. You can include native plants, cultivated species, or both. But before you get started, read the hints here in our gardening section to make your garden as successful as possible.

Good nectar sources. Larval Host Plants: by plant; by butterfly.


Where millions of American and Canadian Monarch butterflies vacation every winter.

Butterflies and Plants

Species Nectar Plants

Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Blue Cardinal Flower, Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Garlic Chives, Common Milkweed, Daisy Fleabane, Dames Rocket, Dogbane, Globe

Swallowtail Heliotrope, Joe-Pye Weed, Lantana, Late-flowering Boneset, Liatris, Marigold, Mist Flower, New England Aster, New York Ironweed, Oregano, Oriental Lilies, Petunia, Phlox, Privet, Purple Coneflower, Sweet Pepperbush, Tickseed Sunflower, Tithonia, Verbena, Wild Bergamot , Wingstem,. Zinnia

Spicebush Butterfly Bush, Delphinium, Cosmos, Lantana, Oriental Lilies, Phlox, Privet, Wild Bergamot

Pipevine Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush

Black Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed. Joe-Pye Weed, Late-flowering Boneset, Oregano, Privet, Purple Coneflower, Wild Bergamot, Zinnia

Pieridae

Cabbage White Arugula, Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Collards, Catnip, Common Dandelion, Creeping Wood Sorrel, Common Sage, Daisy Fleabane, Dame's Rocket, Day Lily, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Ground Ivy, Heath Aster, Lantana, Late-flowering Boneset, Lavender, Liatris, Marigold, Mint, Mist Flower, Mustard Greens, New England Aster, Oregano, Radishes, Red Clover, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Sedum (Autumn Joy), Small White Aster, Sweet Pepperbush, Thyme, Tickseed Sunflower, Tithonia, Valerian, White Clover, Winter Cress, Zinnia

Clouded Sulphur Brazilian Verbena, Common Dandelion, Ground Ivy, Heath Aster, Marigold, Mist Flower, New England Aster, Privet, Purple Coneflower, Showy Coneflower, Tithonia,

Orange Sulphur Black-Eyed Susan, Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Common Dandelion, Cosmos, Dame's Rocket, Globe Amaranth, Ground Ivy, Heath Aster, Joe-Pye Weed, Late-flowering Boneset, Marigold, New England Aster, New York Ironweed, Oregano, Purple Coneflower, Red Clover, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Showy Coneflower, Smooth Aster, Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower), White Clover, Zinnia

Sleepy Orange Abelia, Butterfly Weed, Cosmos, Marigold, Zinnia

Hairstreaks and Blues

Eastern Tailed Blue Creeping Wood Sorrel, Dogbane, Garlic Chives, Ground Ivy, Heath Aster, Mist Flower, Oregano, Showy Coneflower, White Clover, Late-flowering Boneset

Spring and Summer Azure American Holly, Black-Eyed Susan, Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed, Dogbane, Heliotrope, Late-flowering Boneset, Oregano, Mint, Privet, Radishes, Red Clover, Sedum (Autumn Joy), Sweet Pepperbush, White Clover,

Gray Hairstreak Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Weed, Catnip, Creeping Wood Sorrel, Garlic Chives, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Heath Aster, Lantana, Late-flowering Boneset, Liatris, Mint, Oregano, Salvia, Sedum (Autumn Joy), Showy Coneflower, Small White Aster, Sweet Pepperbush, Tansy, Tickseed Sunflower, Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower), White Clover,

Red-Banded Hairstreak Boneset, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Garlic Chives, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Heath Aster, Joe-Pye Weed, Late-flowering Boneset, Sedum (Autumn Joy), Showy Coneflower, Small White Aster, Swamp Milkweed, Tall Goldenrod, White Clover,

Banded Hairstreak Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed, Dogbane, Purple Coneflower

White M Hairstreak Garlic Chives, Heath Aster, Late-flowering Boneset, Red Clover, Small White Aster.

Brushfoots

American Snout Late-flowering Boneset

Variegated Fritillary Black-Eyed Susan, Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Globe Amaranth, Marigold, Mist Flower, New England Aster, Oregano, Red Clover, Zinnia

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Garlic Chives, Common Milkweed, Dogbane, Late-flowering Boneset, Marigold, Purple Coneflower, Swamp Milkweed,

Pearl Crescent Black-Eyed Susan, Bloodflower, Butterfly Weed, Common Dandelion, Daisy Fleabane, Globe Amaranth, Garlic Chives, Heath Aster, Late-flowering Boneset, Marigold, Mist Flower, New England Aster, Sedum (Autumn Joy), Showy Coneflower, Small White Aster, Stiff Goldenrod, Tickseed Sunflower, White Clover, Zinnia

Monarch Blue Cardinal Flower, Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Common Milkweed, Globe Amaranth, Heath Aster, Heliotrope, Joe-Pye Weed, Lantana, Late-flowering Boneset, Marigold, Mist Flower, Mustard Greens, New England Aster, New York Ironweed, Oriental Lilies, Showy Coneflower, Smooth Aster, Swamp Milkweed, Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower), Wingstem, Zinnia

Red-Spotted Admiral Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Garlic Chives, Late-flowering Boneset, Mist Flower, Pink Turtlehead, Purple Coneflower,

Painted Lady Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed, Cosmos, Heliotrope, Late-flowering Boneset, Marigold, New England Aster, Purple Coneflower, Zinnia

American Lady Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed, Daisy Fleabane, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Late-flowering Boneset, Marigold, Mist Flower, Privet, Purple Coneflower, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Showy Coneflower, White Clover, Zinnia

Red Admiral Abelia, Butterfly Bush, Dogbane, Lantana, Marigold, Mist Flower, Privet,

Common Buckeye Globe Amaranth, Mist Flower, White Clover,

Question Mark Butterfly Bush, Heliotrope

Eastern Comma Garlic Chives, Dogbane, Privet

Skippers

Silver-Spotted Skipper Abelia, Black-Eyed Susan, Blue Berry Bush, Blue Cardinal Flower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Catnip, Dame's Rocket , Garlic Chives, Common Milkweed, Common Sage, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Heliotrope, Joe-Pye Weed, Lantana, Lavender, Mint, Mist Flower, Mountain Laurel, New York Ironweed, Oregano, Oriental Lilies, Phlox, Privet, Radishes, Red Clover, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Showy Coneflower, Smooth Aster, Swamp Milkweed, Verbena, Sweet Pepperbush, Late-flowering Boneset, White Clover, Wild Bergamot and Zinnia.

Wild Indigo Duskywing Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Ground Ivy, Heliotrope, Lantana, Late-Flowering Boneset, Marigold, Mist Flower, Oregano, Privet, Purple Coneflower, Showy Coneflower, White Clover

Juvenal's Duskywing Ground Ivy

Horace’s Duskywing Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Dame's Rocket, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Late-flowering Boneset, Lavender, Marigold, Mist Flower, New England Aster, Purple Coneflower, Showy Coneflower,

Common Checkered Skipper Globe Amaranth, Heath Aster, Mist Flower, New England Aster, Showy Coneflower

Hayhurst’s Scallopwing Black-Eyed Susan, Brazilian Verbena, Catnip, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Lantana, Lavender, Marigold, Marjoram, Mist Flower, Showy Coneflower, White Clover

Common Sootywing Globe Amaranth, Mist Flower,

Least Skipper Brazilian Verbena, Globe Amaranth, Mist Flower,

Sachem Black-Eyed Susan, Blue Cardinal Flower, Bloodflower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Garlic Chives, Common Milkweed, Common Sage, Cosmos, Daisy Fleabane, Dame's Rocket, Dogbane, Globe Amaranth, Heath Aster, Heliotrope, Joe-Pye Weed, Lantana, Late-flowering Boneset, Liatris, Marigold, Mint, Mist Flower, New England Aster, New York Ironweed, Oregano, Phlox, Purple Coneflower, Red Clover, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Sedum (Autumn Joy), Shasta Daisy, Showy Coneflower, Smooth Aster, Stiff Goldenrod, Swamp Milkweed, Sweet Pepperbush, Tansy, Tithonia, Verbena, White Clover, Wingstem, Zinnia

Peck’s Skipper Brazilian Verbena,Butterfly Bush, Globe Amaranth, Heliotrope, Late-flowering Boneset, Marigold, Mint, Mist Flower, New England Aster, New York Ironweed, Oregano, Red Clover, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Showy Coneflower, Smooth Aster, Swamp Milkweed,

Zabulon Abelia, Blue Cardinal Flower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed, Common Sage, Delphinium, Globe Amaranth, Heliotrope, Marigold, Mist Flower, Oregano, Oriental Lilies, Petunia, Phlox, Red Marigold, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Showy Coneflower, Verbena, Zinnia

Clouded Skipper Blue Cardinal Flower, Brazilian Verbena, Day Lily, Globe Amaranth, Heliotrope, Marigold, New England Aster, Salvia "Blue Bedder," Verbena,

Dun Skipper Brazilian Verbena, Catnip, Dogbane, Red Clover, Salvia "Blue Bedder,"

Little Glassywing Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Common Milkweed, Dogbane, Heliotrope, Lantana, Liatris, Oregano, Privet, Purple Coneflower,

Fiery Skipper Blue Cardinal Flower, Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Garlic Chives, Common Sage, Globe Amaranth, Heath Aster, Heliotrope, Lantana, Marigold, Mist Flower, Oregano, Salvia "Blue Bedder, Tithonia,

Crossline Skipper Butterfly Bush, Brazilian Verbena

Tawny-Edged Skipper Brazilian Verbena, Globe Amaranth, Red Clover,

Southern Broken-Dash Butterfly Bush, Mist Flower

Ocola Skipper Brazilian Verbena, Butterfly Bush, Globe Amaranth, Marigold, Mist Flower, Wingstem, Zinnia

Awards

Contact Information


Snail Mail: P.O. Box 12, Brookings, OR 97415-0001
www.wildwoodhimitage.com