The top 10 plants for butterflies

Beautify your garden! – by Jane Pine

Butterflies are an easy way to add beauty and whimsy to any garden. 

You can attract native butterflies to your garden by growing the right host plants. This will feed the life cycle of butterflies and increase the population.

According to Australian butterfly expert Helen Schwencke, raising butterflies is a simple introduction to interacting with your natural environment, and you don’t necessarily need a large garden to do it.

Grass yellow butterfly

Grass yellow butterfly


Common Crow butterfly

Common crow butterfly


“You can have a balcony with a native fig or a weeping fig on it and you’ll get common crow [butterflies],” she told ABC Online

Orchard Swallow Tail butterfly

Orchard Swallow Tail butterfly


Helen identified the best plants to attract butterflies in South-East Queensland. Here, she’s listed her top 10:

1. Climbing senna (Senna gaudichaudii): Yellow migrant, small grass-yellow, large grass-yellow
2. Corky milk-vine (Secamone elliptica): Common crow, blue tiger 
3. Emu foot (Cullen tenax): Chequered swallowtail, common grass-blue, tailed pea-blue
4. Karamat (Hygrophila angustifolia): Chocolate argus, meadow argus, varied eggfly, dainty grass-blue
5. Love flower (Pseuderanthemum variabile): Australian leafwing, blue argus, bluebanded eggfly, danaid eggfly, varied eggfly
6. Mangrove wax-flower vine (Cynanchum carnosum): Swamp tiger, lesser wanderer, common crow
7. Native mulberry (Pipturus argenteus): Jezebel nymph, speckled line-blue, yellow admiral
8. Thornless caper (Capparis lucida):Caper white, chalky pearl-white, caper gull
9. Zig zag vine (Melodorum leichhardtii): Four-barred swordtail, pale triangle, eastern dusk-flat
10. Finger lime (Citrus australasica), also citrus: mandarin, lime, orange trees – Orchard swallowtail, fuscous swallowtail, dainty swallowtail

How to attract butterflies to your yard

Summertime is butterfly season. – by Rachael Jones

Getty Images

Butterflies sip nectar from flowers but also take up nutrients from moist soil and fallen, rotting fruit.

If you’d like to attract a range of butterflies into your garden, you need to grow plenty of different flowers. Daisies of any sort are good butterfly attractors, but so are upward-facing, tubular-flowers. They don’t have to be big to be attractive.

A butterfly’s life

After feeding, butterflies lay eggs on plants that their caterpillars like to eat.

They’re not always the same plants as those on which the butterflies feed. The eggs hatch into caterpillars that immediately start eating the plant. That does cause some damage, but if you want butterflies you have to let their young eat.

After about two weeks, the caterpillars are fully fed and prepare to pupate into butterflies. They make this miraculous change inside a shell-like chrysalis. It takes about 10 days for the ugly caterpillar to turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Did you know?

Though there are a few exceptions to this rule, most moths pupate from a caterpillar into moth inside a silken cocoon whereas most butterflies pupate inside a hard chrysalis.

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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