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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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Nettles attract Red Admiral,Peacock,Small Tortoiseshell and Comma.I think there's one I've forgotten
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 http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/foodplants.php