Sunday, May 3, 2009

The butterflies have arrived.

The Passion Vines I planted last Spring have done amazingly well. The white passion vine completely covers my home office window, and is climbing around the cactus wood I have placed on either side of the window, in an effort to give it somewhere to go.



The Lavender Lady Passion Vine is in the same area, but it is planted near the bird feeder and the vines are climbing around and up it.





Last year when I bought these vines, I had a constant battle with the Gulf Fritillary butterflies, and their hungry little caterpillars that wanted to devour my vine. The vines were small and I mostly just squished them in an effort to keep some of the vine for myself. I knew I was in trouble this year, as the vines are out of control, and there is no way I could squish all the little caterpillars, even if I could reach all parts of the vine. So yesterday as I was out in the garden admiring the opening passion flowers what would come along but the first Gulf Frit of the year, happily laying egg after egg on the leaves.




So far my research into what might discourage all these butterflies has come up empty. Most people want butterflies, and I do too, in a way- I just don't want my vine stripped.

5 comments:

Deb said...

the butterflies are so pretty..I had so many last year...so far just a few this year...still a little early I think

Diane C. said...

Gorgeous passion flowers! I haven't seen that type of butterfly in my yard yet this year. Maybe now that your vines have so many leaves there will be enough for caterpillars to munch and not hurt the plant too much.

Aiyana said...

I am so envious of your vines. For some reason, my various vines just haven't done well so far. The Queen's Wreath has been sitting there, not doing anything, for almost two years. So little growth I can't even see it. The Lilac Vine seems to be doing the best, but it's still slow. Even the new Cat's Claw (notorious for fast growth) is having a hard time taking off. Maybe I'll just get a few Passion Vines and hope for the best!
Aiyana

Claude said...

As much as I like the butterflies, I don't like the caterpillars... One year they all but defoliated the vines... I just tell myself that they aren't an endangered species and get the sevin dust...

Cattleya said...

Gently pull off the caterpillars, give them a few leaves in a jar to tide them over and offer them to a local elementary school class so they can learn about the butterfly life cycle. Some of the kids probably have vines in their yards. Might as well give the lovely little creatures a chance to be appreciated.

Sevin dust will make for a lonely yard.