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Citrus trees + Butterflies

I had purchased a small "snowbird" orange tree from Home Depot about 2 years ago.  I would love to grow an orange tree, lemon or lime, in my yard.  The original tree was unfortunately a victim of my inexperience.  I was so excited to see butterfly caterpillars that I forgot about the oranges.  The caterpillars, of course, decimated the leaves and although I was blessed with a few butterflies (one monarch) I believe the aphids took over the tree, and with no leaves, it died.  It was in full sun all day and there were two small green oranges on the lower branches, which were rather like sticks with a lime stuck on them.  I loved the beautiful and fragrant flowers of the orange tree, and would like to be able to have oranges AND the butterflies.  Is that possible?
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Posted 2017-04-09T22:42:03+0000  by planza126 planza126

Howdy planza 126,


Gardens come alive when butterflies visit. Not only are Butterflies good for pollinating our fruit and vegetables, but their beauty is a great-added bonus. They are also fun to watch, and they are fascinating for kids.

Unfortunately, citrus trees are not a “tried and true” host plant for butterflies.

Instead why not make a raised Butterfly Island Bed will attract these winged guests to your property.

When you are choosing plants for your butterfly garden, remember that butterflies prefer large clusters of small, tube-shaped flowers, as well as an array of different colors.


To get your “Butterfly Garden started begin by offering your butterflies the essentials

like some flat stones or pavers so they can rest and warm themselves in the sun.

A spot for “puddling” where they can drink water and extract minerals. To make a “puddle,” fill a shallow pan with coarse sand and put it in your island bed. Keep the soil moist. pesticide-free zone. and avoid using chemicals where butterflies visit.

Nectar plants for adult butterflies and foliage and other food plants for caterpillars. Use flowers that bloom in succession, and plant in masses of color to help the butterflies find them. Red, yellow, pink, purple and orange blossoms with short tubes or flattened flower heads are best.

Plants that attract butterfly larvae – Yarrow, Hollyhock, Snapdragon, Aster,

Foxglove, Fennel, Sunflower, Alyssum, Lupine, Mallow, Beard tongue, Veronica,

Wisteria, Wild lilac, Tree mallow, Plumbago, Spiraea, Birch, Citrus, Dogwood,

Hawthorn, Pine, Poplar, Oak, and Willow.


Plants that attract adult butterflies – Yarrow, Lily-of-the-Nile, Snapdragon,

Columbine, Thrift, Aster, Astilbe, Shasta daisy, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Delphinium,

Dianthus, Purple coneflower, Fleabane, Candytuft, Sweet pea, Lobelia, Alyssum,

Bee balm, Beard tongue, Phlox, Salvia, Sedum, Tagetes, Verbena, Abelia, Buddleja,

Scotch heather, Wild lilac, Escallonia, Hebe, Lantana, Lavender, Rhododendron,

Rosemary, Spiraea, Maple, Apple, Citrus, and Willow.


Other plants will work well too. The good news your local Home Depot carries plants that work well in your Hardiness Zone.



As for your citrus tree, try planting another one. With your butterfly garden resort, your tree should reap all the benefits without the leaf-loss.


Happy Gardening,

Coach Dave


Other Related Articles:

24 Flowering Plants That Attract Butterflies

Posted 2017-04-10T18:55:54+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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