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  • #52378


    Hello everyone, I’m currently enrolled in the the MBNZT Butterfly Habitat course, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. I’m trying to establish a butterfly garden on a half acre property. Initially I was targeting Monarchs, but after realising other varieties of butterflies and moths could be encouraged, I’ve been making a list (using the information from the course) to ensure I have the right host and nectar plants for each species. So far I have noticed Blues (not sure what species yet as they are very active little butterflies and won’t stay still long enough) cabbage whites, tiny little copper coloured butterflies and Red and Yellow Admirals. The question I would like to ask is whether anyone has noticed if the Monarchs they have show any preference to a particular nectar plant.

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  • #52392

    rob cooper

    we have lots here for them but you cant go past the flowers on the swan plants they love them



    Thanks Jacqui for answering. I was wondering if this might be the case. I think it’s quite interesting to see that the Monarchs can be selective at times depending on what’s available to them. I have a variety of nectar plants available throughout the year but what they favour the most in my garden is Verbena bonariensis. I know some find this invasive but I haven’t had any issues with it here in my Taranaki garden.



    Hi Sharryn

    A great question! And everyone will have different answers and at different times of the year too. A lot depends on what region of NZ you live in as well.

    Some people say “Plant X” and then someone else will say that the monarchs more or less ignore it in their garden – so a lot depends also on what you have in your garden. You might choose the most popular nectar plant from a variety on offer, and the butterflies still prefer the one you had originally, if you know what I mean. I keep looking for more plants, but the monarchs still enjoy my orange-yellow lantana through the season and swan plant flowers. Cosmos and zinnias too. My Tithonia speciosa “Goldfinger” has only started flowering in recent weeks – I planted them too late – but that’s keeping the monarchs happy now too. Then in winter and spring the winter-flowering Buddleja is great in my garden.

    Smaller species of butterflies will enjoy alyssum, cineraria (winter) and don’t forget wild weeds like dandelion too. Hoep that’s helpful!

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