Butterfly caterpillar's search

Asked May 5, 2016, 9:50 AM EDT

What plant(s) would be good for caterpillars to use for hanging their chrysalis? My caterpillars disappear from my Butterfly Garden and in spring I have no surrounding wild plants standing and cannot find their chrysalis anywhere. Are there any specific plants that don't deteriorate over winter? And what would that be?

Stearns County Minnesota

1 Response

Butterflies typically hang and build their chrysalis on the plants they feed on. Swallowtails in Minnesota eat plants in the carrot family such as dill, fennel and parsley. Monarchs like wild and perennial versions of milkweed. Having those plants in your garden will attract the butterflies to lay their eggs on these plants. Caterpillars have a small chance of surviving outdoors because of predators. Based on this it is rare to actually see a chrysalis in you yard. If you have interest you can familiarize yourself with the lifecycle of a butterfly and be on the lookout for eggs and caterpillars and bring them in to raise until the butterfly emerges. I am attaching a link below on monarch raising. http://monarchwatch.org/rear/