Monday, July 03, 2006

Butterfly Garden 101

(Yellow Lantana in forground; passion vine in background)

Three or four years ago I was at a garage sale and there were dozens of orange (Gulf Frittilaria) butterflies flitting around. She told me how to build a butterfly garden. Here is what you need to make a buterfly garden.
1. In the spring, purchase a a lantana plant and passion vine (passiflora) from you local garden shop. Lantana comes in many colors. It is a perennial which means it comes back year after year. I cut mine back in November so I get lots of growth in February. The passion vine also comes in a choice of colors, some are even fragrant. You don't really want the kind that produce fruit. Look for a passion vine plant that has leaves which appear to be 'nibbled' and you may be lucky enough to bring home caterpillars. Some nurseries pick the cats off. A plant without cats just takes a little longer to produce butterflies.

2. Plant these plants witin 10 feet of each other. They do quite well in full sun but they do not flourish in shade. The passion vine is the maternity ward for eggs and caterpillars. The cats build their cocoons in or near the passion vine. When the butterfly emerges from the cocoon, they are hungry. The lantana must be close by; it is the chow hall for grown butterflies. As soon as the Fertilizer is OK but never spray these plants with pesticides or butterflies will avoid your garden.

A water source nearby is a plus. My sprinkler system provides enough water for these plants and the butterflies. Both plants die back in cold weather but they'll be back in early spring. Reduce water when the plants are dormant.
Wait for the show in the summer...

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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  • The Help (Kindle)
  • The Appeal by John Grisham
  • Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (again) by Harper Lee
  • Bleachers by John Grisham

This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks