Finally, an article that should have meaning to almost every reader. Everyone I know loves butterflies. Their flash of color and erratic flight cannot help but put a smile on your face and improve your spirits. Now, if you wish this to happen to your face and demeanor, I have the solution: buy one of the many passion vines that LaVille is propagating for the April Plant Sale.
If you buy one at a nursery, you will probably be disappointed. LaVille has found that the Fritillary butterfly is very selective about the kind of passion vine upon which they wish to lay their eggs. They do not like the red or pink bloom varieties. They really love Passiflora edulis and P. caerulea. LaVille is growing both. So, get one or two vines from her.
You are going to plant them now where they will get good sun exposure. Winter will stunt their growth and you will cut them back to two feet or less. Spring will produce lush growth and Fritillary butterflies will find them and lay their eggs. Then the eggs will hatch, and you will find caterpillars munching away on the leaves. I have to caution you that the butterflies really prefer the delicate leaves of the caerulea. We have to constantly transfer caterpillars from the caerulea to the edulis, otherwise all that will remain is bare stems.
Next, to keep things rolling, you need to provide food for the butterflies. You probably have your favorite butterfly attracting plants. LaVille prefers zinnias as you can see in photo. Plant zinnia seeds in April to greet the butterflies as they emerge from their cocoons.
There you have it—a simple way to make your garden a source of wonderment and joy.
Stan, The Butterfly Man