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Butterfly Garden....Indoors

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by GoldenK on January 26, 2004 02:45 PM
Kind of anyways.

I know this may sound a bit on the far side, but me and my 6 year old love this live butterfly thing we got. I just hate to see them in a small container like that. We're told NOT to release them until the temp is over 55 and holding or they'd be goners.

Anywho, I had this idea come March to turn my screened in porch into a Butterfly Garden. There is a butterfly farm nearby to purchase them. Just wondering what I'm getting into here. We have a screen that fits over the door, mainly as a doggie door for our Shephard. I figure we'd hold in 75% of them.

I'm looking for suggestions of plants to put in our porch. I have milkweed & they gave me alot of seeds last year. So I'm already starting there. Are there any other plants out there for a Zone 9, hot Florida? Any other suggestions about the site is appreciated.

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The NFL's NFC South
by floweraddict on January 26, 2004 03:00 PM
I love screen porches and i hate mesquitos!! sp?

I like your idea about having a butterfly garden on your porch, but the first thought that comes to my mind is sunlight... All porches have roofs over them;so, u will be getting either early morning or late day sunlight, right? That might limit what kind of flowers u may grow unless u provide some artificial light. Maybe i am wrong... I'm not an expert on butterfly gardens although i have tried to plant many flowers that attract butterflies and had some success. Milkweed is an excellent butterfly attracting plant, but i'm not sure it will do well in partial shade. I had great success with butterfly weed (in the milkweed family) this past summer but they were in full sun. All butterflies loved my butterfly weed. Maybe someone can help u with more advice than what i can give on this subject...

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by Barb H. on January 26, 2004 03:54 PM
A butterfly garden sounds like fun! We were at a butterfly garden at the zoo and it had to be heated. But, if you live in a warm climate it will probably work out for you.

Keep us posted on how you accomplish it, if you decide to go ahead...it sounds like a great project for you and your 6 year old!

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by njoynit on January 26, 2004 04:21 PM
I know whiteriver gardens in Indpls has an indoor thinggy with butterflys.
only problem I see is they do most of their eating in sun they go to sunny spots usually once a plant hits shade for the time of day butterflys are not on that spot then.maybe ask the place down the road where ya can get your beautys at and see what they offer advice wise.
hope it works for ya

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by GoldenK on January 26, 2004 06:47 PM
Thanks all. I know it'll be a task. Finding plants that will grow inside the porch is the first thing. I'll try Milkweeds, but only get the sun 'til 'bout noon like you said floweraddict and I'll probably have to install some other type of lighting. But, it does stay very bright the rest of the day there even tho the porch does face due East.

Looking around, on the net, I've found Asters, Coreopsis and some others do well. As well as just taking the leaves off of my milkweeds from outside. So I'm covered there, I think [dunno]

Every year I get into one of these spastic things that I can't get out of my head and just go for it. Just ask Jackson & Perkins [Big Grin]

Besides the plants, I'll need a water mister of some sort to keep them hydrated or if I have the energy add some type of Pond there. Anyways, I'm getting pumped already.

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The NFL's NFC South
by barleychown on January 26, 2004 07:02 PM
Could you have two or three pots of each and rotate them, one in the porch, one in the yard (in the sun...) then maybe you could keep the plants that need more sun happy... [dunno]

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by plants 'n pots on January 27, 2004 01:08 AM
Lantana is a must if you can get it to grow indoors. We had live butterflies in our floral centerpieces last June at our daughter's bat mitzvah, and all the websites which sold the butterflies recommended lantana as a great food source!

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by Bestofour on January 27, 2004 04:45 AM
Do any of you know Danaus from the weather channels green thumb club? She is the butterfly expert. I'm going to email her and ask her to post here,or you can go there with your question. She knows absolutely everything about butterflies.

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by Danaus29 on January 27, 2004 01:28 PM
Thanks for the compliment Bestofour, but (sh) I don't really know everything. Pots on a rotation system would work well. I recommend adding butterfly bush, clovers, and the mixture the butterfly zoo puts out for their butterflies. Watermelon rinds, sugar water, squished bananas are some of the foods offered by our local conservatory. Monarda and some mints also have flowers butterflies love. Cosmos and tithonia are good nectar plants. That's all I can think of for now. It sounds like a wonderful idea. Maybe you could add some of the caterpillar food plants like dill and have your very own butterfly nursery.
by GoldenK on January 27, 2004 02:32 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Danaus29:
Maybe you could add some of the caterpillar food plants like dill and have your very own butterfly nursery.
I'm starting to think seriously about that. My wife also has an interest now after I talked to a local butterfly breeder and had her read some articles from a place. I know my daughter would help, no question there. She loves animals, especially butterflies.

I've heard of some of those herbs. Thanks for the list. Just bought some seeds for the cosmos and others yesterday (nobody's delivering plants, so we have to sow our own for now, but that's fun also). The Butterfly Bush and others are on order, but wont be shipped until March 1. My local guy doesn't have that one, yet anyways.

All of these posts/PM's are very appreciated. Feel very welcome for a newbie here [wayey] Started as just an idea, searching for a butterfly forum, but knew I had to come here to check on the plants from the fellow green thumbers [thumb]

I need to catch your program Danaus. When is it?

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The NFL's NFC South
by weezie13 on January 27, 2004 04:10 PM
Two other pointers I can think of for butterflies
is.........
A. Water and mud.....

Take a shallow black or dark colored pan, (I use the left over side salad containers from Burger King, reuseable, washable, and recycleable when they might get cracked or something, free and you can get several everytime you eat a healthy salad.)
*You can use the bottom saucers that come with pots that are go underneath them.
I go and find those dark smooth rocks they have now adays for fishtanks, vases or indoor water features.... I get a bag of them at a dollar store.
Put the rocks into the pan, pretty much right to the top, flatten them out....
Fill with water, but keep it so the rocks are still available for the butterflies to land on..
Keep the pan in the sun shine, *they like it warm* and you must keep an eye on it for evaporation.....
Same for the mud, if you can find some or make it, and keep it muddy, but also for the rocks in
between so they have a place to land and stand on
while they lap at the mud!!!!!

B. Is calmness or lack of wind, they like an area that is still. So, they can rest and not be forced off or blown off or pushed off.......

Weezie

Don't forget they like it warm!!

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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by GoldenK on January 28, 2004 07:31 PM
The water situation is probably the only thing I've over-looked so far. Glad you said something. I always wanted to put a small pond around there, but would also need one inside.

This is sounding $'s

BTW, I was just checking my old milkweed I've had for about a year yesterday and low and behold I see two Monarch Caterpillars on it. Luckily I found them after I just bought 3 more Milkweeds and brought those two inside to check out the new plants. Also before our big weather change today/tonight. We'll be under 40 and freezing down here.

The hardest part of this all is keeping it a secret from my daughter. I want to tell her about it so badly, but need to wait 'til her b'day. You'd think I was getting presents that day [Big Grin]

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The NFL's NFC South
by write2rellie on January 28, 2004 07:34 PM
wow, this all sounds like such fun I'm thinking of starting a butterfly garden for my girls and myself. GoldenK let us know how it turns out! Good Luck [thumb]

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rellie
by Danaus29 on February 11, 2004 02:40 PM
Monarch caterpillars already???? WOW!!! I still have months of waiting to get them here.

Franklin Park Conservatory (Ohio) has the butterflies starting sometime in March until about June. The butterflies live all their lives in the tropical rain forest part of the planted displays. I've been told the butterfly house in Missouri is much better and they have butterflies year-round.

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