Don't pick the caterpillars, please!


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Our dill has lots of "caterpillars" on it. They are really butterfly instars, and the same ones show up on parsley.
instars on dill.jpg

With a bit of luck and enough dill, parsley, and fennel, the caterpillars become this:
Black Swallowtail 3.jpg

So, please don't pick the caterpillars off your herbs. Just plant enough for you and the Black Swallowtails.
 
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JBtheExplorer

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I'm jealous. I tried growing Golden Alexanders for Black Swallowtails, but the seeds never grew. Might have to try again in the future.
 
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JB, don't be jealous--your garden is paradise for wildlife! Try some dill--it's really easy to grow and if you let one or two plants go to seed, it self-sows for the next year.
 
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alp

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Thank you for the post and I will look around with a different attitude!
 
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I started out growing a lot of milkweed for the butterflies, mainly because of all the stories about how bad off the Monarchs have it now; however, I quickly found that Monarchs are the only butterfly I see every year -- tons of them.

So now I'm growing many other species of plants to support many other species of butterflies. I have tons of plants in the carrot and celery family as well as other plants and I'm starting to see many other species of butterflies.
 
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Good for you, Roadrunner! So many folks plant nectar plants for butterflies, but don't think to plant host plants. We have a tree, a hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata), that is a host for the ugliest instars you can imagine. Both the Giant and the Tiger Swallowtails use it.
 
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alp

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I saw some blue little butterflies fluttering around, but they are so neurotic that I can't capture them.

Some small one like this

upload_2018-5-16_17-6-48.jpeg


I also have this one




This one minus the orange back. Before I only have white ones and very occasionally a monarch or two.
 
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Nope sorry.. I plant milkweed for these beautiful pollinators, but nothing's gonna devour my garden on my watch.
 
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The rule in my garden is, "if there are caterpillars in the herbs, it is off limits until they're done".

 
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