Let's Remember the Monarchs: I had Monarchs last year!

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Let's Remember the Monarchs

By SCurtis
March 27, 2015

Let's all plant a butterfly garden this year to help the butterflies and bees.

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Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Mar 26, 2015 6:10 PM CST
I was so happy to see a pair of Monarch's late last summer
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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Mar 26, 2015 6:24 PM CST
Jennifer, those are all boy Monarchs! Hilarious! Do you have any milkweed planted? I always tell people if they want a successful butterfly garden that they can't just plant nectar plants. You have to have the host plants, too. That's what makes the butterflies stick around. So hopefully you have some host plants in there with your nectar plants. It's also good to strategically mix them because when your host plants get chewed to pieces you want the nectar plants to hide them!

Also, my PSA for all other Floridians...butterfly bush is considered invasive in our state. I can recommend many other nectar plants, instead. As for you Northerners (which is pretty much everyone not in the state of Florida Rolling on the floor laughing ), as long as you contain your butterfly bush, it's probably fine. Still, I always prefer native plants because I think butterflies have a preference for the species they evolved alongside.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Mar 26, 2015 6:27 PM CST
I have three ascelpias plants. And 25 more seeds wintersown.
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Mar 26, 2015 6:29 PM CST
I have never, not once had a butterfly bush reseed.

Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Mar 26, 2015 6:29 PM CST
I still have some seeds in the fridge. This will be my first year growing these varieties so I think I'm going to do little clumps around the yard and see where they like it best. The seed packets say part sun/full sun. But all Floridians know "full sun" has a different meaning down here. Hilarious!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
Mar 26, 2015 6:30 PM CST
I also have about 200 saved asclepias seeds left
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Mar 26, 2015 6:34 PM CST
They are prolific seeders. Which brings me to another tip for everyone. If you have milkweed, you will most likely have milkweed bugs (black and red guys) and milkweed aphids (little yellow guys). They seem to like some species more than others. The milkweed bugs actually prefer to eat the seeds so if you have big infestations of them or you just don't like them, cut the seedpods off your plants. You'll probably still have some bugs, but it does seem to discourage them.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
jvdubb
Mar 26, 2015 6:35 PM CST
I also always have a large population of Painted Ladies. They love my antennaria and anaphalis
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Mar 26, 2015 6:39 PM CST
I only tend to see Painted Ladies around this time of year when the Cudweed is present. And some years are better than others. They're a very variable butterfly in these parts. I haven't seen one yet this year but my dad thought he did. I was checking for caterpillars yesterday but couldn't find one. I'll just have to keep searching!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Mar 26, 2015 7:04 PM CST
I totally agree with this article! We all need to include Milkweed in our gardens!

I have noticed in my yard is that the male Monarch Butterflies are very territorial. They will fly around "their" garden bed area and try to chase off any other males (or other species of butterfly). But of course, they will woo any female Monarch to their garden. I love watching the males chase each other. I have various garden beds around my yard. I have noticed that males claim different beds. It almost reminds me of male Ruby-throated hummingbirds defending their territory during breeding season. Pretty cool to see the males flying around their garden every day for several weeks until they eventually die.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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