Common Minnesota Butterflies and What They Like to Eat
Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia): Caterpillars like pansies. Nectar plants include black eyed Susan, verbena, butterfly bush, globe amaranth, marigold, New England aster, oregano, red clover, and zinnia.
Monarch (Danaus plexippus): Caterpillars only like milkweed. Nectar plants include verbena, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, milkweed, globe amaranth, heliotrope, Joe Pye weed, lantana, marigold, mustard greens, New England aster, oriental lilies, coneflower, and zinnia.
American Snout (Libytheana carinenta): Caterpillars like hackberry. Favorite nectar plant is late-flowering bo...
You thought your toddler was a picky eater? Try planning a butterfly garden! Caterpillars would rather starve than eat the wrong plant, and adult butterflies will move on to tastier pastures (literally) if you don't have what they're looking for. Monarchs are the most famous picky eaters: Caterpillars eat milkweed only, thank you very much.
No matter what species of butterfly you're aiming to attract, all butterfly gardens have five elements: plenty of sunshine, roosting spots sheltered from the wind and predators, nectar sources (blooming flowers for adults), host plants (food for caterpillars), and water.