Thinking spring and wildflower stocks?

Asked January 1, 2019, 9:15 PM EST

I was thinking it would be prudent to cut off old wildflower stocks (~3 acres) to aid growth in the spring. Then it occurred to me that this process might damage/kill any chrysalis or any other forms of butterfly overwintering within the area. What would you advise?

Stearns County Minnesota

3 Responses

You can cut down your wildflower meadow in the fall. The preferable timeframe is by the end of August to the first part of September. By that time most butterflies have emerged from their chrysalis.

It's my understanding that various butterflies have various methods of overwintering, whether it be the chrysalis (though winter), a caterpillar or egg (in the ground litter). At this point, we're looking at spring cutting, whether we will be doing more damage then good?

In my research only a small portion of winter hibernating butterflies do so in meadows. The benefit of cutting your field probably outweighs any loss of butterflies.