Pest control in the garden is a tough job. How do you find the balance between killing garden pests and letting beneficial insects eat the plants they desperately need for survival. Today I thought I would share with you my story of the sacrificial parsley and Black Swallowtail Caterpillars who call it home!
I came back from vacation to discover that my parsley has been taken over by these little critters. Kind of cute, huh? Anyhow, further research has revealed that this is the Black Swallowtail Caterpillar and it REALLY likes parsley!
In fact, loads of caterpillars enjoy parsley and it is incredibly easy to grow. You could help them out by planting an extra pot full next spring!
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Black Swallowtail Caterpillars and The Sacrificial Parsley
I decided to sacrifice the rest of the parsley plant and let them stay there because they turn into the really beautiful Black Swallowtail Butterfly seen below. Yes, caterpillars turn into butterflies. We knew this, right?
While it is tempting to kill the caterpillars that eat your crop, if you did that, you would have no butterflies at the end of the summer!
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I feel slightly prejudiced for killing all those rose slugs back in May. They turn into icky wasp type critters! But I’m going to let these kids live because they turn into pretty butterflies.
See, being pretty gets you far in life…at least if you are a bug! Want more of these beautiful butterflies in your garden next year? Plant a butterfly garden or leave a butterfly watering station in your yard. Do you have any Black Swallowtail Caterpillars in the garden this month?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging and freelance writing to share this knowledge with others. Learn more about her HERE.
7 thoughts on “Black Swallowtail Caterpillars and The Sacrificial Parsley”
they really like fennel, too!
Thanks for the follow! I’m following you back. Have a great weekend.
I do not have any fennel for them…I am not sure what to do with fennel actually! Is it easy to grow? What do you do with it?
I found you from Green Follow Friday.
Very pretty pictures!
I have these in my parsley and over the last day or two it has dwindled from 7 to 2, I’m wondering where did they go, at what stage today decide to chrysalis, where would they go to chrysalis, and anything else I could learn about it. I was considering putting one in a glass jar with some Burlap but I don’t want to kill it. It is sept 14 in zone 7. How long before they become butterflies?
I am definitely not an expert. Here is a page you might want to check out for more info on their life cycle https://texasbutterflyranch.com/2015/05/14/eastern-swallowtail-butterflies-everywhere-heres-how-to-raise-them-at-home/