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Atlanta, GA, United States
Diana is a Georgia native from the small town of Jefferson and now lives in Atlanta suburb Lakewood Heights, where she now spends her free time gardening or writing about it. Another of Diana’s passions is raising Monarch butterflies. To date, Diana has raised and released over 40 Monarch butterflies and plans to raise more every spring and fall. While not internationally known, Diana has already created quite a name for herself both locally and online. She’s referred to by names such as Garden Guru, Flower Lady, Butterfly Queen, and her favorite, Little Caterpillar. She has helped to spearhead programs including South Bend Park Community Garden. Her online friends depend on her gardening expertise. After starting this blog two years ago and with encouragement from friends and family, Diana is now working on other writing endeavors. She still writes her blog, but will soon start writing gardening blogs for a local publication. Diana is also writing a book that she hopes will be published sometime before she dies. Gardening is Diana’s peace of mind, her solace from the stresses of the world. She’s has never felt better than she does when she has dirt under her fingernails.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Before you squish, you MUST read this!

The best way to attract butterflies and moths to your gardens is not just by providing nectar plants. I've found that having their host plants available works great too. That means that they not only come to your garden for nectar, but they also breed in your yard and increase the number of each type you'll see in you yard year after year.

Before you start trying to get rid of "pesky" insects eating the leaves on your plants or before you pick a caterpillar off your plants, be sure to know your host plants. You just might be trying to get rid of something that you actually want in your yard!

Another thing to keep in mind when cutting back plants in the fall is that many of these butterflies and moths will go into chrysalis right on your plant. So be careful when cutting back. You might end up tossing a budding arrival into your compost!

Here’s a list of butterflies and moths along with their host plants. Please note that this may not be a complete list.

American Painted Lady - Artemisia, Borage, Burdock, Daisy, Everlasting, Hollyhocks, Knapweed, Mallow, Sunflower, Wormwood
American Snout - Hackberry
Anise Swallowtail - Queen Anne's Lace
Baltimore Checkerspot - Plantain, Turtlehead
Banded Hairstreak - Hickory, Oak, Walnut
Black Swallowtail - Carrot, Dill, Fennel, Parsley, Queen Anne's Lace, Rue
Cabbage White - Broccoli, Cabbage family, Mustard, Nasturtium
Checkered White - Mustard family
Clouded Sulphur - Alfalfa, Apple, Cassia, Clover
Cloudless Sulphur - Senna
Comma - Elm, Hops, Nettle
Common Buckeye - Heliotrope, Loosestrife, Monkeyflower, Plantain, Sedum, Snapdragon, Verbena
Common Checkered Skipper - Hollyhock, hibiscus, mallow
Common Sulphur - Vetch
Common Wood-nymph - Purpletop Grass
Dainty Sulphur - Spanish Needles, Sneezeweed
Dogface - False Indigo, Indigo Bush, Prairie Clover
Eastern Comma - Elm, Hop Vine, Nettle
Eastern Pygmy Blue - Glasswort
Eastern Tailed Blue - Clover, Pea Family, Vetch
Emperor - Hackberry
Falcate Orangetip - Rock Cress, Mustard
Falcate Orangetip - Mustard,Rock Cress
Fiery Skipper - Grasses
Fritillaries - Violets
Fritillaries - Violets
Giant Swallowtail - Citrus Tree, Hop, Prickly Ash, Rue
Gray Hairstreak - Clover, Hibiscus, Hollyhock, Mallows, Rose of Sharon
Gulf Fritillary - Passionflower Vine, Pentas
Hackberry Emperor - Hackberry Tree
Least Skipper - Grasses
Little Wood Satyr - Grasses
Little Yellow - Cassia, Clover, Senna, Legumes
Long-Tailed Skipper - Beans, Legumes
Milbert's Tortoiseshell - Nettle
Monarch - Milkweed (Asclepias)
Mourning Cloak - Aspen, Birch, Cottonwood Ash, Elm, Hackberry, Poplar, Wild Rose, Willow
Northern Cloudywing - Legumes
Orange Sulphur - Alfalfa, Clover, Vetch
Pearl Crescent - Aster
Peck's Skipper - Grasses
Pipevine Swallowtail - Dutchman's Pipe, Pipevine
Purplish Copper - Dock, Knotweed
Queen - Asclepias (Milkweed)
Question Mark - Basswood,Elm,Hackberry, Hops, Nettle
Red Admiral - Nettle
Red-spotted Purple - Apple, Aspen, Hawthorn, Poplar, Wild Cherry, Willow
Sara Orange tip - Mustard family
Silver-spotted Skipper - Black Locust Tree, Tick-Trefoils, Wisteria
Silvery Blue - Legumes, Lupine
Silvery Checkerspot - Aster, Sunflowers
Sleepy - Cassia, Clover, Sennas
Southern Dogface - Indigo Bush, Prairie Clover
Spicebush Swallowtail - Sassafras, Spicebush
Spring/Summer Azure - Apple, Blueberry, Dogwood, Spirea, Viburnum, Wild cherry
Tiger Swallowtail - Aspens, Sycamore, Tulip Tree, Wild Black Cherry, Willow, Yellow Poplar
Variegated Fritillary - Passion Vine, Violets
Viceroy - Aspen, Cottonwood, Cherry, Poplar, Willow
West Coast Lady - Mallow, Nettles
Western Tiger Swallowtail - Alder, Ash, Aspen, Poplar, Willow
White Admiral - Aspen, Birch, Honeysuckle, Poplar, Willow
Wild Indigo Duskywing - Crown Vetch, Wild indigo
Zebra Longwing - Passionflower
Zebra Swallowtail - Pawpaw Tree


  1. Diana,

    Hope you don't mind if I saved your list as a word doc. It will be easy to refer to. Thanks for posting it.


  2. I don't mind at all Jan and I'm so glad that you found this information useful! I'm raising some monarch cats right now, so I will likely post something about my first experience raising them in spring versus fall. Please feel free to contact me if there is something specific you have interest in and I will do my best to post something for you. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I am very appreciative!