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Planting dill and parsley for black swallowtails - a dumb question?  RSS feed

 
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This might be a dumb question but when I was a kid I wanted to become a entomologist I even raised a couple of monarchs to adults and released them but since I heard about planting dill and parsley for black swallowtails my question is that since I am going to go all natural this year is how hard is it to get them to establish if I plant them a small patch for themselves
 
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The only "dumb" questions are the useless, pseudo-intellectual, dishonest "questions" that academics "ask" in an ingenuine attempt to "debate".... :D

Like most plants, I imagine if you give them what they want, they'll be just fine - assuming they can live in the place you've set aside.

If you're looking to get the bugs to establish - nothing could be easier. Don't call them, they'll call you.

BTW - if you have a good-faith drive to study the creepies, you already are an entomologist. You don't need anyone's permission - just a magnifying glass, a net, and maybe some specimen jars. About 30 buck on Amazon ought to do it :)
 
pollinator
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Hi David! First of all, "no question that you don't know the answer to is a dumb question. And if it is a dumb question, I probably have the answer for it, or know where to go find it." I teach basic gardening in my area and start out each session with precisely that statement. I also tell the people "if you don't ask questions, you'll never learn the answers". So you're good to go, David. Ask away!!!  

I don't know what area you live in, nor if swallowtails are in your area. Where I live, swallowtails are around but they aren't plentiful. People seldom report seeing one. But on my farm I see quite a few because I plant parsley. I have multiple plants scattered about the farm. I really don't know how many, but I guess it's dozens. I can't sell or use that much parsley but that doesn't matter. It's there more for the swallowtails than anything else. I scatter the plants around so that the gravid females have a better chance of finding places to lay their eggs.

My advice would be to plant parsley in a few spots and hope for the best. I have a friend who was a budding entomologist and actually landed a job as a collector for a museum. She got me interested in providing habitat for various insects.
 
David Rains
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awesome thank you for the reply I live in north central arkansas and around here we have several several species of swallowtails even those giant tiger swallowtails maybe that will increase my odds. I did go to college for a little while for agriculture but it wasn't for me not in the way that I'm not into agriculture the teacher literally said to the class one day this class isn't to help you become a farmer its only so you can be a rep for companies like monsanto which I cannot support for moral reasons. this year I really want to work with nature attracting pollinators and predator insects to my garden.
 
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David said

hard is it to get them to establish if I plant them a small patch for themselves



The first year I planted parsley the butterflies found it and I had caterpillars.  Having a patch especially for them it really great idea.
 
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Parsley happily self seeds with me, plant it for two years running and you'll have a constant crop, if you are looking to attract things that want to eat it I would plant a fairly large patch all in one place After all the idea of spreading things out is so "pests" DON'T find it since you're trying to attract one I think a largish patch would have the best luck.
Dill does not self seed for me, although it grows very happily.
 
David Rains
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If I find caterpillars on the patch for my family I can just move them to their patch couldn't I just transfer them to their patch if need be
 
Anne Miller
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I have moved caterpillars from one plant to another by encouraging them to climb a stick that I am holding.
 
Su Ba
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Like Anne, I've moved caterpillars to new plants with success. I often relocate monarch and Sphinx caterpillars.
 
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