Watch My Food Grow ~ A South Florida Raised Vegetable Garden

Florida Backyard Raised Vegetable Garden

They Are Eating My Herbs!

March 21st, 2014 by Lila Steinhoff

Fennel Stripped to the Stems

Last spring, I wrote about finding my parsley patch stripped down to the stems overnight by a bunch of colorful caterpillars.

Black Swallowtail CaterpillarBlack Swallowtail Caterpillars

They were Black Swallowtail caterpillars, and they had voracious appetites. They are back and chowing down on my garden. Last week, they stripped the fennel plants to nothing but stems.

fennelFennel with Caterpillars

stripped fennel

Fennel after Caterpillars.

Since they have exhausted their supply of fennel, they have moved on to parsley. Their main foods are dill, fennel and parsley. These creatures can strip the leaves from a plant in just a couple of days. They eat non-stop and don’t stop to take a breath.

52 Seconds from Leaf to Stem

You have to see this.┬áThis caterpillar is chomping the parsley with the same rhythm a typewriter makes… if anyone still recognizes that sound.

Beautiful Butterflies

I let the caterpillars have their share of the garden, because both the parsley and fennel come back immediately. I am never short of herbs.

Black Swallowtail ButterflyBlack Swallowtail Butterfly

 But, most of all, I let them stay because the butterfly is so beautiful. Share a few herb leaves and reap visual rewards.



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  • Wow!…now that is great story of letting nature do its thing and getting a great result. You get the beauty of the butterflys in your yard and still get the herbs…a win win for all…