In addition to being beautiful and majestic, butterflies play a significant role in pollinating flowers and contributing to thriving ecosystems. If you are interested in seeing more of and protecting these colorful and important creatures, attend Rutgers one-hour Home Gardeners School @Home Edition online course to learn how you can make your herbs do double duty as a butterfly garden.
A successful butterfly garden provides both nectar plants, which produce food for butterflies, and host plants, which yield nourishment for their caterpillars. Herbs can fulfill both requirements. In fact, certain herbs can provide both functions at the same time.
Butterflies are very particular about where they lay their eggs because their caterpillars have a restrictive diet, eating only certain plants. They don't travel far so the eggs must be laid on the plants that will feed the caterpillars. Instructor Caren White, affectionately known as "The Herb Lady," will explain the difference between nectar plants and host plants and why you should grow both. She will also cover:
- The one herb to plant that will attract the most kinds of butterflies;
- Three native herbs that are a must for a butterfly garden;
- Which butterfly attracting herbs can be grown in partial shade if you don't have a sunny yard; and
- Drought tolerant herbs that attract butterflies for your xeriscape or low water usage garden.
You will leave this one-hour session with insider tips and tricks for growing and harvesting herbs in your butterfly garden.
Plus, every student will receive a resource packet including two charts that show nectar plants for butterflies and host plants for caterpillars along with whether or not each herb is native, shade tolerant, and/or drought tolerant. This is a valuable resource that you'll be able to refer to throughout your gardening future. Register today!