Join us as Ann Hadlock & the Theodore Payne Foundation transform our 99-cent store into a native plant store and butterfly education center!
Each butterfly species requires a unique host plant which their caterpillars consume before they chrysalize and metamorphose into their flying form. A small garden or even the space for an outdoor pot is enough to provide a host plant for an entire community of butterflies. We will be selling fifty of these ‘behind-the-scenes’ plants at cost to visitors, as well as giving away wildflower seed packets, flash cards, and field guides for butterflies. These plants will last years and butterflies will search them out to raise their young. Now is the perfect time to plant them to prepare for spring!
Some more information about butterfly host plants: Host plants range from flowering native plants like Milkweed, Verbena, and Buckwheat. If you keep an eye out you’ll see the female as she flits around the plant, gently laying her next brood’s eggs, sometimes on the top of leaves but usually on the bottom, hidden from predators.
In 10 to 14 days, the tiny larvae, less than an eighth inch long, emerge and begin eating the plant. It’s a fascinating process as they munch away, growing larger everyday. Equally fascinating is watching the caterpillar leave the plant to form a chrysalis.
By including both host plants and nectar plants in your garden, you can attract a wider selection of butterflies while providing an environment that supports their entire life cycle.