Butterfly gardening in New Zealand is pretty easy. Buy a swan plant from your local garden centre and plant it in a sheltered sunny place. It is a host plant for monarch caterpillars and pretty soon it will be swarming with them. Before they completely devour the entire plant one caterpillar might get big enough to form a chrysalis and turn into a butterfly. If it does you’ll probably be hooked on this fascinating hobby!
The next year you might want to try a few other ideas such as:
- Plant more host plants.
- Plant a variety of host plants.
- Plant nectar plants.
- Look out for pests, predators, and diseases.
- Attract other species of butterflies
- Collect and germinate your own seeds.
- Get involved with research.
- Find out more.
I called this site “A beginner’s guide to Butterfly Gardening” because I am a beginner. I am an early childhood teacher and I knew nothing about butterflies or butterfly gardening. But the children I worked with showed such interest that I began to learn for their sake. I found that an interest in butterflies can help meet many of the learning objectives in Te Whāriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, so now I am hooked .
Lots of people have helped me along the way, and as I made notes about what I am learning these pages started to take shape. So this is my way of giving back to the butterfly community. Feel free to link to these pages or share their contents in any way you like. Also sometimes I mention a particular product and I may include a link to a store that carries it. This is only intended as a helpful example, not to endorse the store or the product. These pages do not contain “advertising” so use whichever products or store you want.
Finally, if you notice something on these pages that isn’t correct or could be improved then please let me know, because I am still learning!