Caterpillar Café


The Caterpillar Café is designed to cater to caterpillars, the larval stage of moths and butterflies.

The mission of this garden is to inspire homeowners to select native plants that provide food for caterpillars and multi-season landscape interest. Plants in this garden are referred to as host plants or food plants for caterpillars.

Partially eaten leaves are signs of life! A caterpillar feeds and grows rapidly —in two weeks, a caterpillar will be 3,000 times larger than the day it hatched from the egg. A caterpillar sheds its skin five times before turning into a pupa.

How to Maintain a Caterpillar Habitat

  • Plant host plants, and tolerate useful lawn weeds — violets, plantains, wild mustard and native grasses are hosts.
  • Use garden chemicals only wisely and sparingly.
  • Tolerate wildlife feeding on plants.
  • Choose native plants to support wildlife — host plants also support songbirds like the Northern Cardinal. Good choices include oak and willow trees, milkweed, senna, spicebush, passionvine and many others.