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Your Florida
Butterfly Garden

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Zone Florida

If you want butterflies in your Florida garden, you need plants ...two kinds of plants

1.  plants on which caterpillars prefer to feed known as larval plants

2.  plants that feed butterflies known as nectar plants

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Nectar plants are those you usually think off as attracting bees like this nice fat bumblebee...

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Before you can enjoy butterflies...

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to feed caterpillars you need larval plants ...caterpillar critters like this fellow...

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Female butterflies are attracted to plants that can feed caterpillars.  Butterflies fly to those preferred plants to lay their eggs which hatch ...then develop into caterpillars which later emerge as butterflies

Caterpillars eat the leaves of such plants

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So, in supplying larval plants you need to allow the caterpillars to go ahead and eat your plants' leaves ...if you see the caterpillars and kill them off, you have destroyed the potential butterfly crop

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One other important consideration is to offer a nice variety of different butterfly plants that bloom at various times of year whenever butterflies are around, you have nectar on hand

The vast majority of butterfly plants require a good amount of sun hours ...only partial shade is OK to raise flowering plants for butterflies

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So what plants do butterflies and caterpillars like in South Florida?

Shop for these plants...

  1. Mexican Flame Vine, Senecio confusus Pic

  2. Porter Weed, Stachytarheta jamaicensis Pic

  3. Chenille Plant, Acalypha hispida Pic

  4. Salvia, Salvia coccinea (red) (all Salvia) Pic

  5. Thryallis, Thryallis glauca Pic

  6. Pentas, Pentas lanceolata (many colors) Pic

  7. Firespike, Odontonema strictum Pic

  8. Bleeding Heart Vine, Clerodendrum thompsomiae Pic

  9. Jatropha, Jatropha integerrima Pic

  10. Fireworks, Clerodendrum quadriloculare Pic

  11. Cassia, Senna bicapsularis Pic

  12. Summer Lilac, Buddleja davidii Pic

  13. Butterfly Plant, Clerodendrum ugandense Pic

  14. Lantana, Lantana camara (many colors) Pic

  15. Shooting Star, Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum Pic

  16. Shrimp Plant (red), Justicia branegeana Pic

  17. Shrimp Plant (yellow), Justicia lutea Pic

  18. Butterfly Firebush, Hamelia cupreum Pic

  19. King's Mantle, Thunbergia erecta Pic

  20. Tibouchina, Tibouchina urvilleana Pic

  21. Stictocardia, Stictocardia beraviensis Pic

  22. Dutchman's Pipe, Aristolochia gigantea Pic

  23. Mussaenda, Mussaenda erythrophylla Pic

  24. Powder Puff, Calliandra Haematocephala Pic

  25. Zamia, Zamia integrifolia Pic

  26. Allamanda Vine, Allamanda cathartica Pic

  27. Angel's Trumpet, Brugmansia suaveolens Pic

  28. Sky Vine, Thunbergia grandiflora Pic

  29. Pepper (kind you grind) Piper nigrum Pic

  30. Coffee (kind you drink) Coffea arabica Pic

  31. Wild Coffee, Psychotria nervosa Pic

  32. Lipstick Tree, Bixa orellano Pic

  33. Golden Dewdrop, Duranta erecta Pic

  34. Spanish Needles, Bidens alba (weed) Pic

  35. Lucky Nut, Thevetia peruviana Pic

  36. Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, Pic

  37. Giant Milkweed, Calotropis gigantea Pic

  38. Wild Lime, Zanthoxylum fagara Pic

  39. Spanish Shawl, Dissotis rotundifolia Pic

  40. Mandevilla Vine, Mandevilla boliviensis Pic

  41. Chocolate Tree, Theobroma cacao Pic

  42. Crown of Thorns, Euphorbia milii Pic

  43. Jatropha, Jatropha compacta Pic

  44. Wild / False Tamarind Tree Pic

  45. Passion Vine, many Passiflora species. article

  46. Dwarf Tree Jasmine, Radermachera 'Kunming'. Pic #1 #2

Your Florida Guide to Butterfly Gardening, by Jaret C. Daniels

The Family Butterfly Book, by Rick Mukula

Butterflies in Florida, by Jaret C. Daniels

Florida Butterfly Caterpillars and Their Host Plants, by Marc C. Minno, Jerry Butler

North American Butterfly Association is here