Not All Caterpillars are Bad!

gillnurseryBirds, Butterflies, and Bees, Problem Solving, Timely TipsLeave a Comment

We all hate to see our plants being eaten, but did you know that some of our favorite plants are the food source for many caterpillars. The most common example is Milkweed. It is the only food source for Monarch caterpillars. They will eat all the leaves in one day and want more. They do not kill the plant. The Milkweed will recover quickly with new leaves for the next hatching of caterpillars. Passion Vine is another common plant that gets its own caterpillar, the Gulf Fritillary and the Zebra. Again they can do lots of damage in a short period, but the plants quickly recover. Carrots, Dill and Parsley are the food source for the Black Swallowtail. Even your citrus trees get a caterpillar from the Giant Swallowtail. So just remember when planting a butterfly garden, they do lay eggs and hatch caterpillars which eat your plants, but that’s o.k. Your plants will leaf back out. Plant some plants for the nectar they need and other plants for the larvae to feed. Then kick back and admire nature at work.


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