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Birds, Butterflies & Botany Message Board Butterflies › Beware pruning if you have host plants~!

Beware pruning if you have host plants~!

Winter Springs, FL
Greetings Fellow Nature Lovers,

I want to warn you to be very careful or abstain from pruning and dead-heading your plants that are near butterfly host plants. I have just cut 4 stems in the last few days that chrysalides were on. Thankfully I did not cut one in two~! I could never forgive myself.

I secured them to a thin vertical stake by tying the stems they were on to it. Two have already eclosed [emerged] successfully. These are Black Swallowtail butterflies of which dozens have munched on my fennel, crawled off and pupated in the surrounding flowers.

The flowers are Pentas and Zinna which do better if you dead-head them, meaning to cut the dead or dying flower heads off. But don't be anal about it if they are near host plants. Even though I knew to be careful, I cut another chrysalis on a stem off again today~!

Look very, very carefully at the stems/branches you are about to cut off. The Black's chrysalis is chartruese and blends right in. I can't imagine how many butterflies end up in the landfill egads~!

See you Saturday~!
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