Just like bees need plants that provide pollen, butterflies rely on plants for a place to lay their eggs and to provide a food source for emerging caterpillars. There is a variety of native trees, bushes, annuals, and perennials that would make excellent host plants for butterflies and caterpillars in a butterfly or pollinator garden.
The demand for pollinator plants and those for butterflies and caterpillars is growing. In “Which Annuals And Perennials Are Good For Pollinators?,” Dave Smitley, Professor in the Department of Entomology at Michigan State University says that the biggest need will be for milkweed, either as seed or seedlings, to plant for monarch caterpillars and butterflies.
Are you looking to add plants that can host butterflies and caterpillars to your product mix? Check out this list of 14 plants Smitley recommends for caterpillars and butterflies.
Michigan State University Extension has several lists with recommendations for pollinator plants in the Extension publication “Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes for the U.S. North Central Region.”