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Butterfly Garden

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Submitted By njitcivil
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Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly garden plants are primarily native plants with some noninvasive

foreign plants that provide a continuous supply of nectar and host plants for the

butterfly and caterpillars, as recommended by the NJ Native Plant Society. Plants

should be obtained from local nurseries within 50 miles of Newark that propagate

native species. Three possible sources are Toadshade Nursery, Clemeson

Farms and Bowman Nurseries. Some plants, such as fennel, dill and parsley are

easily propagated from seed.

There are six types of endangered butterflies in NJ. These are: Mitchells Satyr,

Arogos Skipper, Appalachian grizzled Skipper, frosted Elfin, Silver-bordered

Fritillary and Checkered White. We hope to provide food source to feed these.

The butterfly site, basically a prairie meadow, should be in an open area with

good circulation and receiving more than six hours of sun each day, so probably

on the south and east side of the buildings. The plants can be planted spring or

early fall. The “recipe” recommended by the NJ Native Plant Society is 1/3-1/2

grasses to ½-2/3 wildflowers. Native grasses are especially good later in the

season after the flowers have bloomed. Minimal maintaince is key, since NJIT

doesn’t have many resources for this and mowing once a year in the early spring

before nesting season should be enough. Adult butterflies require nectar from

flowers which are more decorative and can be grown in the front areas of the

site. The other plants, including shrubs and small trees can be interspersed into

the forested buffer. After initial dense planting of these areas, the intent is to let is

grow wild with seed freely spreading. The flowers are: milkweed, asters, thistle,

sunflower, goldenrod, mint, buttonbush, cardinal flower, and coneflowers. The

shrubs and trees include: black cherry, clethra, viburnum, sumac, dogwood,

eastern red cedar for example. The caterpillers eat the leaves of these plants.


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