Butterflies???

Hey everyone,
I'm getting a little ahead of myself by asking this question since I dont have a garden yet :) but I would like to know a little about using butterflies for pollination.
I know that you need milkweed to sustain a butterfly population since they lay their eggs on it. It would also help to keep them around. In an open garden.
In a greenhouse enviroment how big would it approximatly have to be before one could use butterflies to do the pollinating instead of doing it by hand (besides having butterflies around is nice)?
Will they pollinate all veggies?
Problems with using butterflies to pollinate, predators etc.?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Can't answer your other questions as I've never heard of butterflies being major pollinators.
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I didn't see the original post, but each butterfly has its preferred, or required host plants. I know that cabbage butterflies will lay eggs on more than just cabbage, they were all over my horseradish one year, and I find cabbage butterfly like green larvae on petunias from time to time.
One year I had a hoard of cabbage butterflies because I had planted Green Comet broccoli, and it had hollow stems when I cut the stalk, and I didn't realize it didn't really branch like other non-hybrid broccoli, and so I left the stalks in place, and then it rained, it got into the hollow stems and proceeded to rot them. Ewwww the yard stunk of rotten cabbage smells and the butterflies started showing up, and more and more of them After while it seemed like it was snowing. Ok.. I exaggerated a little but there were an unnatural number of them around. So, it only goes to show ya, they find their hosts with a sense of "smell" of some sort. ;-)
Swallowtails I think are supposed to like celery or parsley .. don't know what else.
I think morning cloaks lay eggs on trees, don't recall which kind. We used to have a lot of butterflies around, but I rarely see one these days other than the little bitty ones that mimic monarch coloration, or are pale blue or rusty colors, fritillarias maybe.
All I know is if it's a caterpillar and it's eating my garden, it meets BT!
Janice
On Sun, 1 Feb 2004 09:55:16 -0800, Larry Blanchard

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Janice wrote:

Carrot leaves. I find the caterpillars in my carrots sometimes. I just let them eat. They don't kill any plants and they don't seem to eat enough to diminish the final harvest enough to notice.
Steve
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Swallowtails like *everything* in the parsley/dill/carrot family. AFAIK, they don't pollinate much -- they just eat like chainsaws! Very attractive, however, both as caterpillars and butterlflies.
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Flying flowers... ;-)
K.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) wrote in message

I personally wouldn't want a large population of butterfiles around my garden. I say this only because there are a few that lay eggs on your veggies; the eggs hatch out little caterpillars that make short work of eating the things they hatch on: cabbage worms come to mind.
Butterflies are cute, but I got fed up with cabbage worms decimating my brussel sprouts this past summer.
Mark
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I know nothing of butterflies being pollinators but they also love Buddlias (aka Butterfly bush).
The only 'downside' I can think of for butterflies (and that is for the butterflies themselves and not for me as I love them for their beauty) is that birds hang around in bushes near the buddlia and dive out and catch the butterflies like it's some sort of McDonalds for birds. Still the birds are also beautiful and they never get all of the butterflies.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) wrote:

Depends on the species. ;-) There are all kinds of "breeds" of butterflies. ;-)

Butterflies are free if you know how to attract them.
Google is your friend.:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=butterfly+gardens http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=butterflies+for+pollin ation http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=insect+pollination
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Thanks,
looks like I would have to research the and get the right species so as to avoid the little critters eating what is planted :)
I knew a little about monarch's but I didn't know the other species would attack the veggies.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) wrote:

You plant extra for them to eat. <G> I plant anise and parsley so if and when I find baby swallowtails on my dill, I just pick them up and move them...
Were you planning on ordering butterflies? Why not just plant the right flowers to attract the local ones? Yes, they may lay eggs on your plants, but as I said, plant extra for them to eat...
Hey, I have to hand pick tomato hornworms when I see signs of them, so it's no big deal to patrol my other plants. I've never had much of a problem with butterfly larvae. Except for swallowtails and that is probably a local phenomenon. And my chickens just LOVE hornworms so it's fun to toss them in the henyard. <G>

Butterfly gardens are a good thing!
Personally, I have a honeysuckle fence border to attract bees, and I also plant morning glories for early morning pollinators and moonflower for the late night guys. Morning glories also attract hummingbirds, as does scarlet penstemmon (sp?). Not sure if I spelled that last one right?
The moths that moonflowers attract are rilly kewl to watch! I like to call them hummingbird moths.
Put up hummingbird feeders as well. Beautiful little creatures and even tho' they are not major pollinators, they do some.
I usually just hand pollinate squashes and melons. I get better yields that way.
K.
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On 4 Feb 2004 09:31:25 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Jon) wrote:

I believe bees are the most active pollinators. I've never heard of (doesn't mean it doesn't exist) people *planning* on butterfly pollination. Many plants are self-pollinating and don't requre an agent. Butterflies don't "attack" plants. Caterpillars of rather specific species go for specific veg -- cabbage worms and tomato (tobacco) worms being the most common. Swallowtail 'pillars are very fond of parsley, dill, and related foliage, but won't bother tomatoes or beans or... By all means, grow milkweed to encourage monarch butterflies, but you don't need them for pollination.
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There are hundreds of sites on this topic. :) Check out:
http://butterflywebsite.com / http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/misc/ef006.htm http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/ggk/butterfly.htm http://www.floridagardener.com/butterflies/butterflyplants.htm http://www.geocities.com/aquatt93/butterfly.html
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