Why do insects like rotten food
What do butterflies eat? Food of the pretty moths
Would you like colorful butterflies in your garden? Then you should ensure sufficient butterfly food. With these plants you attract the insects.
Butterflies are one of the most popular insects. In addition, the colorful moths make an important contribution to the pollination of plants. Reason enough to feed the butterflies - but what do they like?
Butterfly food: the main thing is liquid
Once the moths have hatched from their cocoons, they are already looking for food for butterflies. These are mainly found in the flower nectar of native plants. Some specimens also feed on sap from leaves, honeydew from lice, or juice from rotting fruit. The main thing is liquid, is the motto here. Because: The insects use their proboscis to ingest the butterflies' food.
Buddleia is a popular nectar plant
According to the Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), one of the most popular nectar plants from butterflies is the buddleia (Buddleja), which is not called butterfly lilac for nothing. The robust and easy-to-care for garden shrub attracts the colorful butterflies in droves, which eat their fill of the numerous small flowers.
Painted lady (Vanessa cardui) on buddleia (Buddleja davidii): The moth likes the flowering shrub. (Source: imagebroker / imago images)
In addition, you can do the insects a favor by leaving one or the other corner of the garden to the wild so that thistles, nettles or sorrel can serve as food for butterflies.
Flower meadow and native plants
If your garden consists mainly of lawn, you can provide sufficient butterfly food with simple measures: For example, create a small section at the edge of the lawn suitable for butterflies by sowing seeds for a flower meadow. As soon as the first flowers appear, the moths will find enough food and you can look forward to the fluttering variety.
White tree (Aporia crataegi) on red clover (Trifolium pratense): The butterfly likes to nibble on the medicinal herb, which is also called meadow clover. (Source: blickwinkel / imago images)
Alternatively, you can also pay close attention to nectar plants when designing your garden. It is important that a type of plant bears flowers with nectar at all times, if possible. According to NABU, these native plants are particularly suitable:
They not only provide butterfly food in the form of flower nectar, but also provide enough food for the caterpillars.
What the caterpillars of the butterflies eat
If you only plant nectar plants in your garden, you forget the offspring, which in the best case scenario will cause even more colorful moths in the following year. Caterpillars do not feed on nectar, they only eat leaves. The feeding spots do not necessarily look nice, but the colorful butterflies that develop from the caterpillars make up for that many times over.
Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) on a nettle (Urtica): Even hatched butterflies like the medicinal plant. (Source: Karina Hessland / imago images)
The offspring are, however, more picky about their food sources. The caterpillars of different species of butterflies prefer different green. Stinging nettles are particularly practical because they serve as food for several caterpillars at the same time. Peacock butterfly, admiral, painted lady, little fox and the country map eat their fill of them, according to the Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND).
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