flowers best for butterflies

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  • #13783

    Natasha Silcock
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    I rent a unit with a small garden out back. I want to raise butterflies, so will have swan plant in pots, and understand from this forum that zinnias are good for butterflies, but what other flowers do butterflies like can I put in, that flower all year round? (besides bottlebrush).

    Also would like to know whether butterflies only have scales on the top sides of their wings, as I was always careful to only touch the underside of the wings of my pet butterfly, just in case.

    Can I have some suggestions about which flowers are favourites with butterflies besides zinnias and bottlebrush?

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  • #21622

    Jane
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    Hi Natasha,

    SPRING SUMMER Salvias (sages) any and all are great, Gaillardia, Rudbeckia, Marigold (tagetes), Buddleia, Asters, Dahlia (singles and collarette types are best and Dahlia Pale Tiger is sensational), Tithonia, Zinnia, Pelargoniums, Alstroemerias, Nasturtiums, Honeysuckles.

    AUTUMN Salvia leucantha, Salvia patens, Salvia mexicana, Salvia Black Knight, Salvia Indigo Spires, Asters (all), Chrysanthemum daisies (all), Rudbeckia nitida, Tree Dahlias.

    WINTER
    Buddleia Spring promise, Buddleia auriculata, Daphne leucantha, Forsythia gardenerii, Citrus flowers, camelias, Knifophia (Hot pokers), calendula, wallflowers.

    #21620

    Gilly
    Participant

    Buddelia are great! Also the birds love them.

    #21619

    Darren
    Participant

    For the ‘botanically challenged’ like myself there is always this option:
    https://www.monarch.org.nz/members/items-for-sale/seeds/seeds-butterfly-mix/

    #21617

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Hi Natasha, the scales on a butterflies wings are on the upper surface only, and serve as colouration to distingish the species. The scales overlap much like tiles on a roof,and will wear off if rubbed, which is why a butterfly that has had a long life will look a little less colourful then a newly emerged one, owing to the wings coming into contact with vegetation while feeding and flying, particularly on a windy day. However the loss of scales in no way effects its aerodynamics or flying ability.
    As Angie indicated, a selection of plants to cover flowering through the butterfly season is desirable, not many plants will flower all year round. I find Scabiosa a very good one.
    Norm.

    #21616

    I have:
    Hebe Stricta – Koromiko
    Sedums
    Marigolds
    Chives
    Clover
    Chamomile
    Cosmos
    Hyssop
    Scabiosa
    Rata
    Kaikoura Rock Daisy
    Sage
    Globe Artichokes – let them flower
    Milk weed – the flowers are very rich in nectar

    Also you could try
    Any native Daisy
    Any Native non crossed Hebe
    Buddlia

    the larger range of flowering plants the better, I like to use native where ever possible.
    Angie

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