Lukas Nursery is located in Oviedo, Florida on 1909 Slavia Road. They have a large selection of landscape, indoor, nectar plants and butterfly host plants. They also are the only butterfly conservatory in Central Florida. The Butterfly Encounter is open Sunday through Saturday 9 am to 4 pm. The admission is $5 per person. http://www.lukasnursery.com/index.html
Inside the 4,ooo square foot enclosed butterfly conservatory is a variety of nectar plants and host plants for the butterflies to lay their eggs on. In summer as many as 25 different native butterfly species fly around the conservatory. A flowing waterfall provides a humid climate for the butterflies.
The complete butterfly life cycle can be observed inside in the conservatory. The butterflies start their life as a tiny egg laid on their specific food plant. The caterpillars can be watched as they feed on leaves. The collected pupa are hung inside and transparent window (above) for visitors to observe. The emerged butterflies are then released inside the conservatory to continue the cycle.
Inside the feeding room butterflies can be watched as they insert their long proboscis into colorful flowers. Visitors can also hand feed the butterflies with sugary red liquid inside the feeding room. The butterfly above is a Painted Lady.
Lukas Nursery allowed me to release my own Gulf Fritillary butterflies inside their heated conservatory. For the past few days they had been flying around our house because the temperatures at night have reached below freezing! They were thrilled with their new spacious and heated home inside the conservatory!
I am going to Costa Rica on January 12 and will not be able to care for my caterpillars. I asked if I could put my White Peacock caterpillars on a Water Hyssop plant inside the conservatory. I also gave them my chrysalises. I know they will be well cared for.
To end the butterfly encounter, visitors can browse through the gift shop. Inside is a large selection of butterfly jewelry, decorations, and supplies for raising butterflies. Lukas Nursery is a wonderful place to get you started with raising butterflies this spring!
Three more days until I go to Costa Rica! Follow my adventures on my blog and twitter http://twitter.com/FLButterflyGirl