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  #1  
Old 11-19-2020, 04:31 PM
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DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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with the bees getting their stinger's kicked by Monsanto and habitat loss we need all the pollinators we can get!
(call me a hippy but i like eating fruits and vegetables)

Butterflies also have their own problems and need places to not only eat (nectar from most flowers) but for their caterpillars to have a chance. The only thing monarch cats eat are milkweeds, there are tropical milkweeds and giant milkweeds, both make pretty cool flowers (tropical look like a simple version of an epi radicans flower and the giant look like a passiflora flower) and the cat are super fun if you have kids as they can easily be handled and not killed. then you have the benefit of the whole metamorphosis and the chrysalis and so on.

mostly you get a lot of this....


Untitled by J Solo, on Flickr

if you don't know about monarchs they are amazing!! they have four annual generations, three of which live in the 2-4 week range and then the fourth gen live 9 months and have to fly across the Gulf of Mexico!!!?!?!

yeah, butterflies, awesome
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  #2  
Old 11-19-2020, 07:25 PM
Fuerte Rav Fuerte Rav is offline
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I am, I am!

From one plant I have propagated by seed and cuttings and now have about 50 plants in my garden. Some I keep permanently under nets to act as reserves for when the greedy little buggers have completely stripped the open plants! I do a daily check and move caterpillars around my garden to keep them fed ....

Word of warning: don't let any drift from pesticides and/or Neem oil get near the milkweed. I accidentally allowed Neem to drift on to one milkweed about 6 months ago and any caterpillar that goes near it dies within a couple of days, still happening so the plant is getting sacrificed tomorrow.

I estimate that I've had about 200/300 Monarch butterflies leave my garden this year. Mine are a different 'flock' than your US ones. Scientists are now debating that ours don't migrate at all. They certainly breed all year here!

It's an infectious hobby, we have created a WhatsApp group where we offer caterpillars for adoption or call out for spare plants/leaves for them! I even did house calls last year to check on a friend's brood while she was away. It all started when a garden centre here grew some plants a couple of years ago and sold each one with at least 2 caterpillars already on it. They even checked at the till that you had got your caterpillars!!







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Old 11-19-2020, 10:00 PM
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Rav, which milkweed is that?

There are species native throughout North America. They are not hard from seed, but most require stratification in moist soil in the refrigerator or cool outdoors for 6 weeks before sprouting under warm conditions. Seedlings tend not to transplant well, so use a biodegradable pot and plant the whole thing.
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Old 11-19-2020, 11:24 PM
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I grow milkweed for the monarchs and Queen Annie's lace for the swallowtails. But it is Ohio in November and so there are no monarchs and the milkweed has gone dormant.
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Old 11-20-2020, 07:07 AM
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I'm not a fan of native milkweed. In my sand, it goes berserk! However, as I've posted numerous times, I plant extensively for pollinators. The garden is always abuzz. Instead of native milkweed, I planted 2 flats (72) of Asclepias tuberosum (sp). We have full and fennel as well, pollinator magnets. This year was not a good butterfly year. We didn't see much activity until late summer. Bless you guys for hand rearing, there's too much on my plate for that, although we quit using most pesticides years ago and plant for them.
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Old 11-20-2020, 09:35 AM
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While we haven’t planted specifically for pollinators or birds, we also have a variety of flowers that attract them.

The honey bees - OK, all bees - seem particularly attracted to the spiderwort, which can be quite invasive. A walk in the yard in the morning is a buzz-fest around the blue flowers in early summer. We let it grow and bloom, and when it gets leggy, just hack it to the ground. In a few weeks, the new growths bloom for round two. We even have a few still hanging on now.

We also have some native Eastern Columbine that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as a bunch of New Guinea impatiens in the flower boxes on our elevated deck. The butterflies really like those, but without a doubt, the biggest draw is a lantana in the front yard. We cut it to the ground every winter, but it spreads to a mound about 15 feet in diameter, just covered in flowers.
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Old 11-20-2020, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyCoconuts View Post
(call me a hippy but i like eating fruits and vegetables)
Ok ........ I will .... you hippy !!! hehe.

I saw some tv series some years ago ----- 'under the dome' .... that had Monarch (I think) butterflies. Very nice.

======================

Oh geez. Fuerte Rav ------- that green glowing colour of the chrysalis is amazing. Nice shot! And of the butterflies too.


Last edited by SouthPark; 11-21-2020 at 07:05 AM..
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:51 PM
Fuerte Rav Fuerte Rav is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
Rav, which milkweed is that?

There are species native throughout North America. They are not hard from seed, but most require stratification in moist soil in the refrigerator or cool outdoors for 6 weeks before sprouting under warm conditions. Seedlings tend not to transplant well, so use a biodegradable pot and plant the whole thing.
Mine are Asclepias curassavica. They grow Ok from seed but the plant takes a while to reach a good size. No cool conditions here! I find it much easier/quicker from cuttings. I keep 2 or 3 in pots on a north facing windowsill and just keep cutting the top out every 3 or weeks! The cuttings root in water in about a week and get potted up after 2 weeks! Then 2-3 weeks in a shade frame and then planted out with a shade cover for a week or two while they settle in. I had quite a production line going!



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Old 11-21-2020, 06:44 AM
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Ime no plant attracts adult monarchs as well as the water snowball plant, Gymnocoronis spilanthoides. When I was working in an aquatic nursery, they were a magnet for them. It's a highly preferred nectar source. In years where there were hardly any monarchs around, the few I did see were feeding on the nectar of these.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:44 AM
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Gymnocoronis spilanthoides.
Be careful. It's considered high risk for invasive behavior in the US: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_hea...hoides_WRA.pdf
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