Garden Therapy Notes

 A Collection of Gardening Information and Inspiration



June 31, 2012 

Guelph, Ontario

What's Eating My Dill Plants?

If you are growing dill then there is a good chance that you will attract Black Swallowtail butterflies to your garden. Black Swallowtails will lay their eggs on parsley, carrot, celery and dill but I have only seen these caterpillars on dill. Usually you can find them on dill late June through to September. It's difficult to see them at first because they camouflage well with the plant. 

Below is a picture of a Black Swallowtail caterpillar on a dill flower:

swallowtail caterppillar

Below is a picture of a Black Swallowtail eating dill leaves:

swallow tail caterpillar eating dill leaves

What a magical thing to find in your garden! I encourage you to leave the caterpillar alone because it will reward you with a wonderful experience. Keep an eye on it and eventually you will find it turned into a chrysalis. The chrysalis is brown or green, and attached to a stem on the dill plant. Within the chrysalis the caterpillar will undergo metamorphosis and become a butterfly. This stage takes about 2-3 weeks. When the butterfly has emerged it will take its time stretching and drying its wings before it flies away.

Below is a picture of a Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly:

 Swallowtail Butterfly

The Black Swallowtail butterfly is black with yellow spots close to the edge of the wings.

Happy Growing!


Trina Alix

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