• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Anne Miller
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • James Freyr
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Carla Burke
  • Greg Martin

Monarch butterflies

 
Posts: 22
3
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
 
pollinator
Posts: 11699
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
916
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
 
master steward
Posts: 2988
Location: USDA Zone 8a
811
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
 
gardener
Posts: 1536
Location: Maine, zone 5
567
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
their caterpillars are now also in my milkweed patch
their caterpillars are now also in my milkweed patch
2019-monarchs-in-the-milkweed-2.jpg
Here are a couple of pics from this morning....aren't they beautiful!
Here are a couple of pics from this morning....aren't they beautiful!
 
Greg Martin
gardener
Posts: 1536
Location: Maine, zone 5
567
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Forgot to mention....the flowers smell great too.
 
Greg Martin
gardener
Posts: 1536
Location: Maine, zone 5
567
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Here's one that was on a neighboring in ground fig tree
Here's one that was on a neighboring in ground fig tree
 
gardener
Posts: 950
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
208
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Amazing photos!
 
Greg Martin
gardener
Posts: 1536
Location: Maine, zone 5
567
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mandy Launchbury-Rainey wrote:Amazing photos!


Thanks Mandy!
 
Greg Martin
gardener
Posts: 1536
Location: Maine, zone 5
567
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Here's one I found on a blueberry bush.
Here's one I found on a blueberry bush.
 
pollinator
Posts: 263
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
50
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
gardener
Posts: 1536
Location: Maine, zone 5
567
forest garden trees food preservation solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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!  :)
 
Posts: 6
Location: Upstate New York
3
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Had a wonderful year raising monarch caterpillars (388 resulting butterflies tagged and released) along with 181 wild caught butterflies. Fewer than 1% of monarch tags ever get recovered and reported so we expect to learn what happened to maybe four or five. One has already been reported in North Carolina that is many hundreds of miles south of us i(where NY, VT & MA meet).
Some lessons learned:
1. Caterpillars have lots of enemies: sucking critters like stinkbugs and spiders; Raising them inside behind a bright window boosts their rate of survival.
2. Feed caterpillars sprigs of fresh milkweed every day but wedge in flexible foam above water to keep leaves vibrant (otherwise caterpillars can sink and drown);
3. Periodically harvest a quarter of outdoor milkweed patches to promote new growth: all but a few of our caterpillars originated on plants less than three weeks old. Thousand of older milkweeds never had a caterpillar!
4. Chrysalises must hang from a horizontal surface: emerging butterflies can't develop flat wings unless they can hang them straight down as they harden. Glue loose chrysalises to toothpicks and suspend them from a wood "tree" (use wood glue: hot melt glue will cook them)
5. If they are not ready to fly, release butterflies on the leeward side of the trunk of a tree or other stable surface.  Breezes may make them fall if placed on swinging branches or flexible plants.
6. Tags for the underside of a rear wing may be purchased from: https://monarchwatch.org/ and this organization will keep you informed of reported sightings of those you tag. They also have lots of information on Monarchs and their food.
IMG_3692.jpg
Caterpillars have lots of enemies
Caterpillars have lots of enemies
IMG_3696.jpg
Had a wonderful year raising monarch caterpillars
Had a wonderful year raising monarch caterpillars
IMG_3726.jpg
lots of Chrysalises Hanging
lots of Chrysalises Hanging
IMG_3740.jpg
Getting ready for their journey
Getting ready for their journey
IMG_3784.jpg
male monarch
male monarch
IMG_3813-(1).jpg
Goldenrod with Monarchs
Goldenrod with Monarchs
IMG_3817.jpg
female
female
IMG_3733.jpg
weeping willow with Monarchs
weeping willow with Monarchs
 
gardener
Posts: 1652
Location: Los Angeles, CA
439
hugelkultur forest garden books urban chicken food preservation
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Absolutely stunning photos.  Thank you so much for sharing them.
 
If you settle for what they are giving you, you deserve what you get. Fight for this tiny ad!
Rocket Oven – is it Right for You? Here’s What You Need to Know
https://permies.com/t/99726/rocket-ovens/Introduction-rocket-ovens-build
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!