Butterflies in the Garden

Anise Swallowtail on Mint

One of the nicest parts of working in the garden is watching the other creatures that are sharing the plants with you. At the top of this list for many people is the butterfly. Animated flowers, caterpillars in disguise, wind sprites. To attract these creatures you want to plant shrubs and perennials that the adults can feed on as well as plants that they will lay their eggs on and ultimately provide food for the newly hatched larvae.

Many butterflies are plant specific and you may be helping to save an endangered species with the habitat that you're providing. Remember, butterflies start as larvae and these larvae need to feed before they can pupate and turn into new butterflies. So if you find holes in some of the leaves this is a GOOD THING. DON'T SPRAY, even with organic pesticides. You'll have more butterflies soon to enjoy.

Following is a list of plants that provide nectar for the butterfly and/or food for the caterpillar. We're concentrating more on coastal natives as they are often neglected on the more general butterfly lists. We've also included some of the best non native varieties that we carry in the nursery.

Food/Nectar for Butterflies