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I know this may be a silly question given that they are called butterfly bush but I am new to growing buddleia and although it is not in flower there are caterpillars eating one of my buddleias (all my others are free from them). I thought the plants only attracted butterflies but now wonder if they are natural food for the caterpillars. Any info much appreciated!

I dont know of a species that usually eats buddelia, but if they arent doing a huge amount of damage, its probably best to leave them be. What do they look like?

 The larvae (caterpillars) use buddleia as a food plant. Unfortunately only non native larvae will eat the bush (depending on where you are). The butterfly bush is a good source of nectar for adult butterflies, but it is not a larval host for any native butterflies or moths.The Butterfly bush is an exotic, invasive plant from Asia. Please consider other plants.


I am, not sure about poppygirl, thanks for that Edd
Yes I live in England. As they are not catapillars of native butterflies I will get rid of them. They actually looked like cabbage white caterpillars but obviously not if they are not native

Talking of caterpillars I've got eggs under the leaves of my nasturtiums.I'm assuming they are of the white butterflies.


Nettles are only best for some caterpillars

and I would ID your caterpillars before you decide they're not native.

If you grow a selection of shrubs and flowers from different families you'll have the best chance of attracting the greater number of species.



Erm at the risk of sounding thick, whats wrong with none native ones, springwatch seemed very happy that we are getting a population of continental swallowtails. Most caterpillars are fairly harmless arent they? Dont know a huge amount about this so please dont shout at me!

Nothing wrong with non native. We all wait in anticipation for the hummingbird hawkmoth to turn up. They can fly and a southerly wind brings them in. It's just nature


I had one in wolves a couple of years ago, aparently all you need is ladys bedstraw? Might have just been a lucky year

The moths like lots of plants. Ceratostigma willmottianum is number one here. Though maybe I think that because it's just outside the window so I see it there more often

I think the larvae like hedge bedstraw as well which is good because I have loads of that. Not much lady's BS now

We also have caterpillars on our Buddleias.  I think they are the cabbage white.  We are keeping an eye on them, as my granddaughters are interested in their development.


I got so excited when i saw it, i scared it off!

Nettles attract Red Admiral,Peacock,Small Tortoiseshell and Comma.I think there's one I've forgotten 

Love butterflies and moths, seen a couple of new ones this year, orange tip and a small yellow one, must be due to the mild winter