cheltenham chamber of citizens

                                                                          by Judith Gratz, Environmental Education Specialist




Judith has seeds and plants for you to start your planting - for free.

Contact her c/o cheltenhamchamberofcitizens@gmail.com 

Seeds: Common Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, Joe Pye Weed
Plants: Golden Alexanders & Violets

As a community, Cheltenham, and surrounding areas, can make a difference for butterflies (and other pollinators), by planting the foods they need. Most butterfly populations are way down, depending on the species. Monarch Butterfly numbers are down by about 85%-90%!!! So if you know the options there are to sustain, and hopefully help to increase, their populations, we can do some good. Why? Because butterflies are one of our most important pollinators. They also enhance our lives with their beauty. Knowing which plants to add to the garden is a good start for helping butterflies. The other important part of this equation is to NEVER USE PESTICIDES in your garden. They are the reason pollinator numbers are low. There are many successful alternatives for controlling true pests. Integrated Pest Management, will be looked into next time on this website.

Adult Monarch butterflies and their larvae need Milkweed to complete their life cycles. Common Milkweed, Orange Milkweed, and Swamp Milkweed are just 3 species that you could plant for Monarchs. These vary in height, color, and soil requirements. A plant that attracts a vast variety of butterflies and other pollinators is Joe-Pye-Weed. There are many plants that are attractive to other species of butterflies, especially their larvae. It is a wonderful experience to have caterpillars munching away at parsley, dill, and other garden plants! Here are some suggestions you can use, listed by some of the kinds of butterflies that are seen in our area.  When considering what to plant for butterflies, the gardener must take into consideration the 4 life stages of butterflies (complete metamorphosis): egg, caterpillar, pupa, adult. Butterflies have specific needs for each stage. Some butterflies do not eat as adult, but live to reproduce. Combining efforts with neighbors can be one satisfying approach to having many plant options available. Many of the recommended plants are native to our area, or have been naturalized over a century or more. Invasive species are not listed.

Plantings to Attract and Sustain Butterflies

In case you missed them - Earlier Environmental Info. You Can Use Posts