London (change)
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18/06/2014 at 14:34

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!

18/06/2014 at 15:41
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?
18/06/2014 at 15:45

 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.

18/06/2014 at 15:47
What would you reccomend Edd?
18/06/2014 at 16:05

The best for caterpillars are nettles!!!

I will try and find you a list of plants to attract native butterfly's. 

I presume you are in England? 

Try this link it has great pics too.

18/06/2014 at 16:06
I am, not sure about poppygirl, thanks for that Edd
18/06/2014 at 19:05
18/06/2014 at 19:12
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
18/06/2014 at 19:54

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

18/06/2014 at 22:12

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.



18/06/2014 at 22:32
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!
18/06/2014 at 22:43

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


18/06/2014 at 23:11
I had one in wolves a couple of years ago, aparently all you need is ladys bedstraw? Might have just been a lucky year
18/06/2014 at 23:17

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

18/06/2014 at 23:23

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.

18/06/2014 at 23:27
I got so excited when i saw it, i scared it off!
18/06/2014 at 23:31

18/06/2014 at 23:34

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

18/06/2014 at 23:43
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
19/06/2014 at 07:51

Edd's link gives lots of nectar providing plants for the adult butterflies.  

Lots and lots of UK foodplants for the caterpillars of llots and lots of butterflies here 

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