Planting for butterflies

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Yorkshire Kris
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Planting for butterflies

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:44 pm

I've just ordered 15 Alder Buckthorns to provide food for Brimstone butterfly caterpillars. Brimstones are pretty scarce around where I live, usually seeing less than 5 per year. Hopefully by planting Buckthorns they will visit my garden. Does anyone else plant specifically for butterflies? Butterflies don't care if flowers are exotic providing they have abundant nectar that they can reach it, but their food plants are more limited and most exotics are out of the question.
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kata
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by kata » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:21 am

But Kris,

Don't they drop babies on leaf and eat them, or is that just cabbage whites?

Lovely flower.

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fieldfest
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by fieldfest » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:43 am

its worth a bit of leaf damage to see some butterflies, some seem to like echium leaves

I haven't planted specifically for butterfly's but noticed they rather like verbena bonariensis so will be sowing a lot more of those this year as its fantastic to see them in the garden


otorongo
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by otorongo » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:57 am

I would plant to attract exotic butterflies (such as the hummingbird hawk-moth... or is that not a butterfly?), buddleia is good or so they say for any butterflies and hawk-moths. I'd also like to see more butterflies in the winter, so winter flowers and sun traps are where my efforts go. I saw some caterpillars in January in my garden and butterflies in Feb in Hyde Park.

I have a buddleia, which flowers repeatedly and attracts hawk-moths, but not that many. I guess we will see more of them though with the climate change icon_thumleft

My favourite butterfly is a large irridescent blue one, I'm not sure if that's what they call the blue morpho, I've seen them in the Peruvian Amazon, coastal Brazil and Costa Rica. It would be nice to have them here. They're the size of birds.


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kata
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by kata » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:03 am

Wow, Hawk Moth,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Macrog ... tellatarum

Is that your Hawk Moth Otorongo?
I saw some caterpillars in January in my garden
Yes I did see just one Otorongo, hope there is no more.

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RogerBacardy
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by RogerBacardy » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:15 am

Good work chaps :)

Fieldfest is right, they seem to love verbena bonariensis. We have loads of the stuff and we get butterflies in abundance in the summer.

To answer Yorkshire Kris's question, I haven't initially planted anything specifically for bees or butterfiles, but when I notice that they like certain plants I've been inclined to plant more of those plants.

Both lavender and Verbena bonariensis seem to attract the butterflies in my garden, whilst they like to lay their eggs on nasturtium which I allow to self seed (run riot). I figured that I may as well not weed it out if it's gonna be used by the butterfiles for their young.
verbena.JPG
Verbena bonariensis
lavender.jpg
Lavender path to front door
(lavender just about to flower in the above pic)

Whilst in my garden, bees are attracted to Solanum crispum, agapanthus, Verbena bonariensis, foxgloves and cordyline flowers.
solanum.JPG
Solanum crispum
agapanthus.jpg
Agapanthus
cordylineflowers.jpg
Close up of cordyline flowers

Kata, that reminds me, I was going to send you some verbena, mail me your address and I'll post you some seeds, they are small like poppy seeds and germinate easily, so they will flower this year :)


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kata
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by kata » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:44 am

I forgot about those Rog,

Will send my address afternoon as my rose not potted looks like it needs at least partial plant. Waiting on compost delivery, got manure for it now.

That Lavender on both sides of the approach to the door, it will get lots of Bees will it? Does that not worry you... :lol: Is it front or back door?

Some lovely plants there Rog and the Verbena is looking fab.

Thanks for your kind offer.

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RogerBacardy
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by RogerBacardy » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:15 pm

Front door, doesn't worry me, the bees are VERY happy and don't bother me at all, they are too busy getting their nectar. If anything, I'd expect them to deliver me a honeycomb as thanks for their food! It's a wonderful sight to see them and the butterflies out there :)

Although, the postman and the window cleaner have both complained, so I have pruned it back a bit :)

Check out this pic of a bee in my garden, covering himself in pollen whilst getting nectar, he's not gonna bother anyone!:
pollen bee.jpg
I recently found out that when one bee finds a source of nectar it returns to the hive and gives directions to the other bees so they can navigate there too, using the honeycomb wall of the hive as a map, it will dance out the route for the other bees to follow, with south (towards the sunlight) being straight up. :)


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kata
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by kata » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:18 pm

Great shot Rog,

Either Bees or Wasps do a cirlular dance, If thats to find their way home or alert others I have no Idea.

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samtobuk
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by samtobuk » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:05 pm

Have never been without several Buddleias in my garden, love the yellow globe ones like globosa. Always get a late summer display of peacocks, red admirals, small tortoisehells and commas.

I am also lucky enough to see hummingbird hawk moths in my garden every year - they love red valerian so have a selection around the rockery for them.

Otherwise Agapanthus are popular, lavender and sedums.


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:28 pm

kata wrote:But Kris,

Don't they drop babies on leaf and eat them, or is that just cabbage whites?

Lovely flower.

icon_cheers

That's just the cabbage whites that eat Brassicas and related plants.

Here is a list of all butterflies that are native or may be seen in the UK from time-to-time and their foodplants

http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/foodplants.php


Remember if we don't feed the caterpillars there will be no butterflies......


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stephenprudence
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by stephenprudence » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:30 pm

Ive got some Asclepias which will hopefully do a good job bringing a wide range of pollinators in, butterflies too hopefully.
Heswall, Wirral, UK
USDA equivalent average temperature zone: 9a/RHS zone 3
AHS Heat Zone: 1
Last 5 winter minimums:
2007: -0.1C, 2008: -4.2C, 2009: -5.7C, 2010: -10.5 (record), 2011: -4.9C, 2012: -5.3, 2013: -4.5C (so far)


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:31 pm

stephenprudence wrote:Ive got some Asclepias which will hopefully do a good job bringing a wide range of pollinators in, butterflies too hopefully.

And you're on the right side of the country to see a vagrant Monarch in September/October! IF you're very lucky. icon_thumright


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kata
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by kata » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:45 am

This is Wigan, the only Butterflies I get is Cabbage Whites Kris...dropping eggs like life is going extinct... :( :(

I picked this up somewhere, its a Butterfly Monarch.
monarchbutterfliespb.jpg
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fern Rob
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Re: Planting for butterflies

Post by fern Rob » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:57 pm

Damage to plants is worth the butterflies as they are becoming scares.
Rob
( Tree Fern hunter )


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