Buckeye from last November.Butterflies seek shelter. If there are no downed limbs, large leaves or loose bark, they may not find a place to hide and go elsewhere. Butterfly houses purchased for shelter seldom are sought out by butterflies but are attractive additions to garden decor. Wasps may find them great shelter for a big nest.
I research the butterflies common to my area. It is useless to plant nectar or host plants suggested for zone 8 if you garden in zone 6 or even in zone 8 in a different part of the country unless you know for sure those butterflies are seen there. Nectar plants are easy; hosts are specific to each butterfly's larvae. I commonly see Swallowtails and other butterflies nectaring together on lantana. The various Swallowtails each have a specific host plant or plants which may vary in different parts of the country. Some are not quite so picky and will use what is native. Sassafras substitutes for Spicebush here.
There are many online sources that show butterflies state by state, county by county. When my county isn't listed I look at adjoining counties. I try to note what on plants the butterflies were photographed.
Watch a butterfly in flight. They flit across open spaces to get to nectar plants.
Drifts of nectar plants delight butterflies.
I divide single plants or take cuttings to insure there are plenty of plants.
Yellow Sulphurs nectaring on Bath's Pinks the end of last week.
I've always had trouble with pics of Sulphurs because
they fold their wings when they light on a flower.
I try to provide continual nectar sources. When an early flush of bloom wanes I try to have another source coming into bloom. After azaleas bloom here, Pinks are still blooming and Sweet William and Larkspur coming on. There used to be a gap between early spring flowers and summer pretties from seed. Now is a good time to search the nurseries for desirable nectar plants from greenhouse growers. This past winter I dug and kept over Pentas plants so they would be ready for early visitors. Yellow Sulphurs were hovering over Pentas in bloom when I set them out to harden before planting.
Just say No! to pesticides and don't squish any caterpillars.
Parsley eaten to the ground will resprout, trust me.