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Your buddleia trees only supply nectar to the butterfly's. No native caterpillar will eat the plant or pupate on it, not one. What you have done by growing buddleia is squeeze out any native butterfly's.
Sorry to be so blunt. Please read the link below.
I love the Mullein Moth caterpillars Kate but they do cause lots of damage. I think they originated in North Africa
I would love to see the bordered gothic moth but they are now extinct unfortunately
I have just discovered a load of caterpillars hatching on my new blackthorn hedge - they're tortoiseshells or peacocks which were in the garden last year enjoying the buddleia. There wasn't much plant life in the garden a year ago but it's great to see more wildlife enjoying what I've put in during the last twelve months.
I've left a couple of nettles to grow in a corner too.
If you want bees as well, Buddliea globosa has smaller flowers which the bees can reach with their shorter probosces. But butterfly larvae definitely need food too, and nettles are good for several species.
Thanks Robbie! Also very happy news... the caterpillars on the nettle patch in the park are all doing really well. Lovely lovely peacock caterpillars just about to pupate. Gorgeous things.
Fairygirl - it won't be peacocks and small tortoiseshells on your blackthorn. Off the top of my head I think a couple of hairstreaks feed on blackthorn... and lots of species of moth.
Ragdoll - you ned the plants for the caterpillars to feed on as well as the nectar plants for the butterflies- perhaps you need a wild area with nettles and things....?
I have yellow swallowtails on my budleija here in France this year as well as others I'm not so good at identifying.
Driving through West Norfolk, South Lincs and Cambs over the past few days we saw more butterflies that we've seen in years.
Lots of whites, but also lots of larger dark coloured ones which we couldn't identify as we were driving but presumably Peacocks and Red Admirals - lots and lots flying around flowering grassy verges, hedgerows, orchards and meadow and wasteland as well as around gardens. Really lovely to see
Quite a few torties here now so hopefully lots more to come along with Peacocks and Red Admirals in the next few weeks.
Someone was talking last week on a bee/butterfly thread about not seeing any butterflies on his plants, which were specifically planted for them. I commented that I'd not seen many but it was early for them - August is best for butterflies here. Next day, a tortoiseshell came and sat on the paving next to where I was working. Think he was just making a point
I used to live round the corner from where I am now, and I had Painted Ladies regularly. I'm hoping I can attract some again as they're apparently in short supply.
I have plenty of peacocks here in Bedfordshire, on the buddlieja, and lots of small brown and orange butterflies (gatekeepers?) that I can't remember seeing before, a few large whites and the occasional red admiral but not a painted lady or tortoiseshell to be seen and both used to be abundant. The bronze fennel flowers are simply covered with bees though, which hoipefully is helping to pollinate the tomatoes nearby. Can you make bronze fennel honey I wonder?
I've also got more grasshoppers than I've ever had before - and bumped into a solitary frog by the geenhouse yesterday.
Which are the food plants for tortoiseshells and painted ladies? - I obviously need to grow some.
nettles for tortoiseshells gg. Not sure about the painted lady.
I've finally achieved good butterfly numbers, even got some blues now
Hi, I live in Denbighshire and have had peacocks, small tortoise shell's and small white's here over the last few weeks. We do not tend to see the red admiral and large whites until August, these 5 types are really the only ones we get in our neck of the woods - we are semi rural so I do not know if that is a factor at all?
They all live on the different buddleia and lavenders throughout the garden, and also can be seen basking in the sun on the gravelled areas.
Think Painted Ladies like nettles too - we had a small wood across from that house which would have been full of them, a farmer's field and a narrow road with rough grassy verges full of wildflowers a hundred yards away, which probably helped considerably.
Area is a big factor too MrsT - we don't get blues up here. Check out one of the butterfly sites and it'll tell you what's resident in your own part of the country
I've got a white Buddlia, which isn't that big and I've seen quite a few butterflies on mine. In fact as Dove said I've seen more butterflies this year than I have for ages. They keep coming in our conservatory too.