Host plants create magic in a butterfly garden. Host plants attract butterflies from over a mile away. Female butterflies are attracted to host plants to lay eggs. Male butterflies are attracted to the plants to find female butterflies. Visit this page for host plant information on various species of host plants.
Caterpillars eat host plants. Butterfly caterpillars are very limited in their choice of food. Cassia or Senna plants attract several sulphur butterflies; Cloudless Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, and Orange-barred Sulphur. Black Cherry trees are used by Tiger Swallowtail and Red-Spotted Purple butterflies as well as Cecropia and Promethia moths.
Research your state/area to discover which butterflies and moths are naturally found in your area. Plan your butterfly garden around those species. Don’t forget the small butterflies! The tiny Ceraunus Blue is a gorgeous blue butterfly. They are often just as magical and beautiful as large butterflies.
Pesticide use should be greatly restricted or totally eliminated in your garden. Many pesticides are deadly to butterflies. When you read a pesticide label and see the word “worms” you can rest assured that the label is referring to moth and butterfly caterpillars.