Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and their habitats
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One of the simplest ways of attracting butterflies and moths to your garden is to grow plants which act as nectar sources or as food plants for larvae.

Photos:Lee & Jax Westmoreland


Aubretia Easy to grow, has spring flowers.
The number one favourite - many varieties
French Marigold Half-hardy annual. Flowers throughout the summer.
Honesty Flowers in spring. Can be invasive.
Ice Plant For late summer and autumn.
Sedum spectable is supposed to be the best.
Inula A large daisy-like golden-yellow flower.
Lavender Especially liked by Small and Large Whites.
Marjoram Fantastic flower for butterflies, especially liked by the smaller species.
Michaelmas Daisy For the end of autumn when most flowers have finished.
Mint Very invasive, many different varieties.
Small butterflies like it as much as Marjoram.
Perennial Wallflower Easy to propagate from cuttings.
Flowers throughout the year.

Ragwort Especially liked by Browns.
The plant is poisonous.
Runner Beans (yes really) Especially attractive to Brimstones.
Red Valerian Easy to grow, can be invasive. Flowers from spring to the end of autumn!
Scabious Many different species.
Do not collect plants/seeds from the wild.
Verbena bonariensis Flowers all season until the first frosts.
Hebe Attractive to butterflies
Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium maculatum 'Atropurpureum' ) Attractive to Butterflies


Larval Food Plants:

Alder Buckthorn For Brimstones
Garlic Mustard For Orange Tips
Holly and Ivy For Holly Blues.
The Holly (for the first generation; both
male and female plants are now known to be ok, but the larva are easily found
on berries on the female plants). Ivy (for the second generation); some variegated species bear more flowers (which the larvae feed on at night) and are less invasive.
Nasturtium For Large and Small Whites. The plants can be decimated, so make sure you grow plenty in clumps.
Nettles If you can stand a patch in full sun. Cut part down in April to produce fresh new growth and encourage Small Tortoiseshells and Peacocks to lay
eggs on the plants in May/June.
Oak Yes I know someone who has a large Oak tree in their garden with a colony of Purple Hairstreaks!
Ragwort For Cinnabar Moth caterpillars. The plant is poisonous.
Groundsel For Cinnabar Moth caterpillars.
Honesty Caterpillar food plant for Orange Tip
Sweet Rocket Caterpillar food and nectar plant for Orange Tip

With special thanks to David Plews for his contributions to this page.


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