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Monarch butterflies

 
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Hello, I had a question.

In my backyard in Greenwood Lake NY, I have milkweed growing in a patch. I am leaving it in hopes of attracting or supporting monarch butterflies.

My question is the best way to go about this.  Do I just leave them and hope nature takes its course or do I order caterpillars(from where) and give nature a boost?


Thanks
 
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Personally I would wait.  There may be many quite near you wanting to lay eggs.  https://patch.com/new-york/northfork/butterflies-galore-millions-monarchs-expected-new-york
 
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If it were me, I would wait.  I do recommending checking the plants for caterpillars every now and then.

If you want a fun project then order the caterpillars.  It is really fun watching them happily munching the milkweed leaves.  If you decide to order them, I would suggest having enough leaves to feed them.
 
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After tasting what a great set of vegetables milkweed provides I decided I really wanted to grow them....then poof, they appeared in a bright section of my forest garden.  You've got to love perennial vegetables that just blow on in with the winds :)

Besides having these tasty vegetables (spring shoots, flower buds, and pods) growing, and even planting themselves, with no help, the other stacking feature I was looking for was support for Monarch butterflies.  I was walking by yesterday and noticed an adult Monarch hitting the flowers so I looked around and, yes!!!, their caterpillars are now also in my milkweed patch.  Here are a couple of pics from this morning....aren't they beautiful!

2019-monarchs-in-the-milkweed.jpg
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2019-monarchs-in-the-milkweed-2.jpg
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Greg Martin
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Forgot to mention....the flowers smell great too.
 
Greg Martin
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Here's one that was on a neighboring in ground fig tree....relocated that one to a nearby unoccupied milkweed plant.

2019-monarchs-in-the-milkweed-3.jpg
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Amazing photos!
 
Greg Martin
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Mandy Launchbury-Rainey wrote:Amazing photos!


Thanks Mandy!
 
Greg Martin
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Now chrysalises are starting to show up all over the forest garden.  Here's one I found on a blueberry bush.  Can't wait to see them emerging!
20190829_163514_Burst07.jpg
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pollinator
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The mature caterpillars will go wandering when they are ready to form a chrysalis, so if you find large caterpillars on other things like that fig it is probably fine to let them keep searching for a perfect place to pupate.  :)
 
Greg Martin
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Thanks Phil....that was my inexperience and enthusiasm making me worry.  I've been better at letting them do whatever they want since. Learning curve!  :)
 
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