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Gardening for Black Swallowtail Butterflies

The black swallowtail is a frequent visitor to many of our gardens. Its black 3” wings with 2 rows of yellow spots and 2 red eyes make it easy to identify. These fast flyers can be seen flying close to the ground.

Planting their favorite flowers, avoiding the use of pesticides, and delaying garden cleanup until late spring can help keep them visiting your landscape.

The adults nectar on flowers of milkweed, petunias, phlox, coneflowers, verbena, zinnias and more. The caterpillar has green and black stripes with yellow spots. It eats dill, fennel, carrot leaves and parsley

This insect overwinters on branches, dead plant stalks and in bark crevices. So give them time to emerge from their chrysalis before removing old flower stems in spring.

A bit more information: The female black swallowtail butterfly lays its eggs on fennel, parsley, dill, and other host plants. Eggs hatch in 4 days when the colorful caterpillars emerge.

Upcoming Appearances


Jan. 26, 2022
Gardening for Wildlife
(webinar)

Jan. 29, 2022
WCBA's Home Building &
Remodeling Expo

West Bend, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 2, 2022
Small Space Gardening
(webinar)

Feb. 11-13, 2022
PBS Wisconsin
Garden & Landscape EXPO

Madison, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 18-20, 2022
NARI Milwaukee
Spring Home Improvement Show

Milwaukee, WI
(in-person event)

Feb. 23, 2022
Dahlias - Proven Performers!
(webinar)

March 1, 2022
Michigan Green Industry Assn.
Annual Tradeshow & Convention

Novi, MI
(in-person event)

March 5-6, 2022
​​​​​​​Maryland Home & Garden Show
Lutherville-Timonium, MD
(in-person event)

​​​​​​​March 26-27, 2022
​​​​​​​REALTORS Home & Garden Show
West Allis, WI
(in-person event)

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