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Where are the butterflies

Louisville, KY

I have an extensive garden and usually have butterflies. Only one or two so far this year. I do not use pesticides.

Winnetka, CA

Hi there!

I live in southern California and have just this year certified a Monarch Waystation.... growing milkweeds, dianthus, pentas, caryopteris, echinacea etc.... both host and nectar plants....lots more that I haven't listed.... anyway.... I had several monarchs earlier in the year - for a period of about 3 weeks and they came in and out of the garden very of them was huge.... for about 2 weeks.... he lingered then they all departed.....migrating I assumed.....since I am in southern California I figured they must be headed to Mexico.....Just a week ago saw 4 butterflies that I think may have been 'mourning cloaks'... not sure because I cannot get close enough to them to see them from above looking down. I watched them land at the top of a very tall loquat tree and (I believe) drink fruit nectar from the loquats that the birds had pecked at. They stayed all week last week and I saw them briefly several days this week, but not daily....not sure if they have departed or will return - the loquats are about spent... so I'll have to keep a sharp eye out....
I also have some white butteflies or possibly moths... that have black 'blotches' and a tiny bit of a 'blue' hue to them.
I'm not sure if this is 'normal' for me as this is my first year trying to bring them into the garden... I was gifted with some lantana to propagate, and it's just begun blooming this week, so I'm wondering who will show up next? -:)

My name is Nancy.... btw. What are you growing in your garden?

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

well, time, it looks like you have a mystery here. is spraying for mosquitoes done in your area? do you have lots of larval host plants for butterflies? this is what really brings them in, more so than the nectar only plants. could be they all came when you weren't watching? possibly you can check with your neighbors to discover if they have noticed that there appear to be fewer butterflies this year. possibly your neighbors are using pesticides? or maybe there is a new bang up butterfly garden in the neighborhood that is attracting all the butterflies. there are a few people from kentucky on the forum and hopefully you will hear from them to discover if this is something unique to your garden or a more general situation. i suppose this would be the first thing i would want to discover. if you have a local NABA org office nearby, you might want to check with them. there are so many possibilities.

Louisville, KY

Thank you for y our answers. I do have 3 varieties of milk weed. Thats the only host plant I have. I do however have many different nectar plants wh ich are t00 numerous to cou nt.

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

okay, milkweeds will host the monarchs, queens, and soldiers. you might want to add dill, parsley, and/or rue which will host a variety of swallowtails and possibly liven things up a bit. also a passiflora vine (i think the variety in your area would be commonly referred to as "maypops" (p. incarnata) for a variety of fritillaries and the beautiful zebra longwings. have you had caterpillars on the milkweed? they would be monarch, queen, and/or soldier caterpillars.

Louisville, KY

no caterpillars

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