Cleome (?) Glabra/ nutritious butterfly food #425027 - Ask Extension


Cleome (?) Glabra/ nutritious butterfly food #425027

Asked September 04, 2017, 10:50 AM EDT

Can I sow seeds for the butterfly catcher at this time of year? Is there a list of plants that are nutritional to butterflies. Ie not the butterfly bush, Ones that actually nourish these delightful pollinators

Baltimore County Maryland

Expert Response

We wouldn't recommend sowing seeds for Cleome now. They are an annual, and wouldn't get to flowering stage before being killed off by frost, as early as next month.

The good news is that there are many native flowering plants, both annuals and perennials, that you can gradually add to your garden that will be used and appreciated by our pollinator friends over the entire growing season.
Here is a page that will get you started:

Be aware that there are two types of plants that really help, both those that the eggs are laid on and caterpillars can feed on (like monarchs only can use milkweeds), and those that produce the nectar that the butterflies sip.


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