I got a fennel for butterflies. Do I need to prune or just let it grow. Also any good ideas for culinary use. Thank you.
I planted some one year and it about took over vegie garden. Gave a lot away.
I liked it cooked with meats and on salads.
No need to prune. I use bronze fennel and have a few tiny eastern black swallowtail cats on it right now! Love them!
Maybe I should plant some out front Delisa. Love to watch the butterflies. Last year had tons of zebra longwings Fl. state butterfly.
Bonnie, I love going out and looking for eggs then watching everyday while they develop.
Last year I had tons of monarchs for a change.
Thank you for all the helpful advise. I'll keep posting with updates. Dorothy
Fennel is growing nicely, but no cats yet. I've had to cut back the stems and are drying. Hopefully will have some cats soon.
I had some cats that disappeared. now there are a few more small ones on there. Hopefully nothing will get them.
Don't give up!
I enjoyed my fennel and the caterpillars that become the (I think black) swallowtails. We had yellow and black and the other color laid its eggs on wild cherry and some other tree.
I loved taking photographs up close of the caterpillars.
After a couple of years, I had gotten a bit tired of that and really had a hard time getting rid of the fennel - I think it took 3 years of pulling up the new fennel sprouts before that were gone.
Wow nice shot Delisa, what a beauty of a cat. I have tried fennel and it always dies out on me when we start getting lots of rain. I've always had it in pots, maybe I should try it in the ground next time.
I had two monarchs chomping away on my milkweed before I left for vacation. I didn't realize I had any until I noticed my milkweed plant was gone on one side of the garden, so I moved them to another plant which they ate about half before they went off to make butterflies.
I have a hard time keeping the fennel here. It's like the passiflora always being eaten.
Sunkissed, last year I had a bumper crop of monarchs last year. Was it the same for you?
No, Delisa I didn't last year, but I didn't have as much milkweed as I normally do come back from seed. The year before I had tons of them and they ate all my milkweed when it was making seed pods, which is the reason I didn't have as much food for them last year. I bought one new plant very early this year, and have some nice pods on the older one.
However, I had so many Gulf Frits and Zebra long-wings last year that I think they did in my passion vines. My Lady Margaret vine isn't near as vigorous as normal and I've not seen my purple come back at all. They ate the stems all the way to the ground last year.
Well no cats yet. I'm still waiting. I also had passiflora but something ate it up also. Hopeful to get some cats soon.
I love bronze fennel... i will certainly collect seeds this year and grow some at my new home in leesburg.
I got some dill that I planted this year for pickling and the eastern black swallowtails ate that first! I will have to get lots more of the dill.
I haven't had any fennel here for ages. The ones I had died. Yet the swallowtails are still here. I have wild dill growing throughout my flower beds so that must be why they stay here. It seems the black swallowtail isn't limited to one host plant as the monarch, but likes many different plants of the carrot type family.
I sprinkled some dill seeds, I'm hoping the germinate and grow. I put them in an area that does not get mowed... so i am hoping for the best.
I don't care for Dill as an herb -- but if the butterflies love it... I'll do my best to grow some.
Wont know til Oct if it worked, as I'm back up in WI now.