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Butterflies Landscaping Tips

We are frequently informed that one of the most ideal approaches to urge butterflies to visit our property is to scene with local plants. While it’s actual that local plants can be awesome larval host plants and nectar hotspots for grown-ups, numerous butterfly species have likewise adjusted to non-local plants, which can likewise give imperative backing to both caterpillars and grown-up butterflies. Truth be told, by master Sharon Stichter of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, some butterfly species have changed over from a local to a presented host or nectar plant in light of the fact that the local is not effectively accessible or is a less powerful nourishment source.

Writing in the August 2012 Ecological Landscaping Association newsletter, she notes that the lovely black swallowtail butterfly, which used native water hemlock and water parsnip as larval host plants in the nineteenth century, now thrives by using the more widely found non-natives, Queen Ann’s lace, parsley, dill, and fennel, almost exclusively. Similarly, naturalized field clovers and meadow vetches serve as important nectar sources for the adults of many species.

Another way to provide good butterfly habitat is to let some of your property grow as meadow or grassland. But in most parts of the county, these areas need to be mowed periodically to keep them open. To benefit the most butterfly species, the meadow should be mowed no more than once a year in late fall, keeping the mower height at least 4-6 inches off the ground to avoid the overwintering larvae at the bases of plants. If possible, mow only a section of the meadow each year, in rotation, so that there is always an unmown area of refuge for insects.