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The Monarchs Grace Us with Their Presence

By frostweed
May 24, 2016

Raising Monarchs indoors helps to protect them from predators and assists them in their struggle for survival, increasing their numbers during this difficult time of diminishing habitat.

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Name: Hummingbird Beck
EL PASO TX (Zone 8a)
Hummingbird
May 29, 2016 2:17 AM CST
Whom can I write to so I can give my time to help the monarchs numbers increase? Hurray!
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
May 29, 2016 10:07 AM CST
Hello Hummingbird, are you asking who can you contact around your area?
Or maybe you need some instructions on raising Monarchs?
Please let me know. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Jun 19, 2016 9:59 AM CST
I saw my first Monarch yesterday and there was only one. I am not sure where it went or how you tell the male from the female. Is there someone who can start with Lesson 1 and give us a simple course on these beauties. I am now too old to do much gardening but I think I may be able to do this. Not sure we have the kind of food here they like either. Very interested.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 19, 2016 10:39 AM CST
Well, first of all, you will need lots of flowers in bloom for nectar, the adults need nectar to live on, that is their food.
If you want to raise caterpillars you will need specific plants for each kind of butterfly.
For Monarch caterpillars you will need milkweeds. Smiling
Do you have milkweed?

I will try to put something simple together when I have time, right now we have to celebrate Father's Day. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 20, 2016 8:50 AM CST
No, I do not have milkweed....in fact if it is a weed, we spray constantly for the Christmas Trees and we have very few actual gardens....we have roses, petunias, lantana, hibiscus, jasmine, mandevilla, bougainvillea, lilac, daffodils, black eyed susan, but most of the tropicals are in containers and we usually have loads of monarch that go into the greenhouse when the flowers are inside and they can't get out but they seem to die instead of turning into caterpillars. So upsetting because I keep the greenhouse open and there are no flowers in it just now.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 20, 2016 11:44 AM CST
Well, the reason you don't get caterpillars is because you don't have milkweed in there for them to lay their eggs on.
You could buy some milkweed and keep it in pots in the greenhouse for them to lay their eggs on and make a new generation. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 20, 2016 1:49 PM CST
Don't they lay eggs anyplace but on Milkweed? Can I purchase Milkweed from a garden center?
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 20, 2016 2:24 PM CST
Yes, you can buy milkweed from a garden center, but be sure it hasn't been sprayed with pesticides.
They only lay eggs on milkweed, because those are the only plants the caterpillars can eat.

So if you want to raise Monarchs you have to have milkweeds. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 20, 2016 4:49 PM CST
OK, I just purchased from Rose Franklin's Perennials & Herbs their special Tropical Milkweed. I will put it in my Greenhouse and see if it grows and hopefully, the Monarchs will find it and enjoy a snack. Thank you for your help. I may just give them a try sometime if I could be sure they had enough to eat here on this farm. We are not really set up for much of a butterfly garden. The neighbor's field is a better place than our Christmas Trees. I am going to learn all I can and then I will see what happens after I am sure I can grow the Milkweed. I remember as a kid we had milkweed all over the place but now is another story.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 21, 2016 6:11 AM CST
If you put a few potted milkweeds in your greenhouse you are very likely to see eggs and caterpillars on them.
I think you have a good plan, good luck and let me know how it goes. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 21, 2016 12:28 PM CST
Will do.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 21, 2016 1:24 PM CST
Great! I am looking forward to seeing your Butterflies, it will be so nice, and it makes me very happy. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 22, 2016 12:06 PM CST
frostweed said:If you put a few potted milkweeds in your greenhouse you are very likely to see eggs and caterpillars on them.
I think you have a good plan, good luck and let me know how it goes. Smiling


If the butterflies hatch in the greenhouse, will they eat the other plants and die? I thought I read someplace if they eat just any flower it will kill them...
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 22, 2016 1:32 PM CST
No, the Monarch caterpillars will only eat the plants that are good for them, in other other words they eat Milkweed only.
But the adult butterfly can nectar on many flowers. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jun 22, 2016 2:00 PM CST
frostweed said:No, the Monarch caterpillars will only eat the plants that are good for them, in other other words they eat Milkweed only.
But the adult butterfly can nectar on many flowers. Smiling


Good...I could not believe that if they ate leaves from another flower they would die. But, you know the internet and those who think they know it all. Thanks again. Thumbs up

My plants are in the mail and they should be here tomorrow. I think I will put them outside with my tomatoes and peppers since it gets to be over 105 in the greenhouse just now with everything open. Outside they will get fresh air and sunshine and water on a regular basis with natural heat and cool temps instead of too hot during the day.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
Image
frostweed
Jun 22, 2016 3:36 PM CST
That is great, I hope your plants get to you soon Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6a)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: Pennsylvania Bee Lover Butterflies Dragonflies
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nativeplantlover
Jul 4, 2016 8:59 AM CST
Hi Jacquie,
You had asked about being able to tell the difference between male and female Monarchs. The male has two black spots on its bottom wings that the female lacks. Pics below. Hope this helps and good luck!
Cheryl

Thumb of 2016-07-04/nativeplantlover/072b03



Thumb of 2016-07-04/nativeplantlover/569e4d

"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me Keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Container Gardener Hummingbirder Farmer Keeps Horses Dog Lover Birds
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JB
Jul 4, 2016 12:13 PM CST
Thank you Cheryl. My milkweed is really growing. Hopefully it will soon be big enough to attract some Monarchs on their way back south.

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