Gardening
in Tucson, Phoenix
Arizona and California

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Butterfly Garden Tips

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix

Arizona and California

Butterfly Garden Tips and Plants

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FOOD PLANTS
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ORNAMENTALS
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SPECIALTY GARDENS
Butterfly Garden
Erosion Control
Fragrance Garden
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GARDENING TIPS
Dealing with Critters
Digging Holes for Plants
Fruit: Selection, Cultivation
Garden Bed: Sterilizing
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Microclimates
Plant Placement
Selecting Plants
Soil Preparation
USDA Hardiness Zones
Trees: Planting, Watering
Vegetable Calendar Zone 9

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 by GardenOracle.com
Reakirt's Blue butterfly

Butterfly Garden Design


Group garden flowers in masses to attract the attention of passing butterflies.
Select a combination of garden plants that bloom at different times of the year.
Know which butterflies live in your area and which flowers they prefer. Some plants attract butterflies of all species, such as Lantana and Salvia greggii (Autumn Sage). Other plants tend to attract butterflies of selected species. The Asclepias (Milkweeds) and Conoclinium greggii (Gregg's Mistflower) attract mostly Queen and Monarch butterflies.
Use both caterpillar food plants and nectar plants to lure adult butterflies. Female butterflies look for a suitable food plant on which to lay their eggs.
Offer pieces of overripe fruit. This attracts butterflies such as the Empress Leilia that are attracted to rotting fruit and tree sap but rarely flowers.
Furnish windbreaks.
Provide shade for hot days.
Install flat rocks for resting places in both morning sun and all day shade.
Supply damp soil from which butterflies can absorb salts and nutrients.
If a garden plant seems to have too many caterpillars, either put in additional plants of the same type or pick off the excess caterpillars. These surplus caterpillars can be dumped in a bucket of soapy water. Getting rid of caterpillars, however, reduces the number of butterflies.
Do not use pesticides. They harm butterflies and hummingbirds. Let birds remove the bugs, or spray them off with water.

Butterfly Nectar Plants

Aloysia gratissima: Whitebrush

Barkleyanthus salicifolius: Willow Ragwort

Caesalpinia pulcherrima: Red Bird of Paradise

Checked Conoclinium greggii: Gregg's Mistflower
A nectar source for Queen and Monarch male butterflies.

Erigeron divergens: Spreading Fleabane

Checked Lantana camara: Lantana

Lantana montevidensis: Trailing Lantana

Salvia coccinea: Scarlet Sage

Checked Salvia greggii: Autumn Sage

Tagetes lemmonii: Lemmon's Marigold

Zinnia acerosa: Desert Zinnia

Reakirt's Blue
Reakirt's Blue butterfly

Caterpillar Food Plants
also Nectar Sources except where noted

Checked Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii: Flame Acanthus
A caterpillar food plant for Elada and Arizona Checkerspot butterflies.

Aristolochia watsonii: Southwestern Pipevine
A caterpillar food plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly. This plant does not supply nectar.

Checked Asclepias linaria: Pineneedle Milkweed
A caterpillar food plant for Queen and Monarch butterflies.

Checked Asclepias subulata: Desert Milkweed
A caterpillar food plant for Queen and Monarch butterflies.

Checked Asclepias tuberosa: Butterfly Milkweed
A caterpillar food plant for Queen and Monarch butterflies.

Calliandra californica: Baja Fairy Duster
A caterpillar food plant for Blue butterflies.

All citrus species, such as
Citrus reticulata: Mandarin / Tangerine
are caterpillar food plants for the Giant Swallowtail butterfly. The caterpillar resembles bird poop.

Justicia spicigera: Mexican honeysuckle
A caterpillar food plant for the Texas Crescent butterfly.

Passiflora: Passion Fruit
A caterpillar food plant for the Gulf Fritillary and Variegated Fritillary butterflies.

Ruta graveolens: Rue
A caterpillar food plant for the Black Swallowtail and Giant Swallowtail butterflies.

Sarcostemma cynanchoides subsp. harwegii: Climbing Milkweed
A caterpillar food plant for Queen and Monarch butterflies.

Senna covesii: Desert Senna
A caterpillar food plant for Sulphur and Sleepy Orange butterflies. It does not supply nectar. Seed is available at Native Seeds Search.

Senna hirsuta v. glaberrima: Slimpod Senna
A caterpillar food plant for Sulphur butterflies. It does not supply nectar.

Thymophylla pentachaeta: Golden Dyssodia
A caterpillar food plant for the Dainty Sulphur butterfly.


Checked = These plants receive the most butterfly visits.



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