Establishing a Monarch Waystation: Excellent and detailed article.

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Establishing a Monarch Waystation

By SongofJoy
August 23, 2013

It doesn’t take a lot of space or expense to establish a Monarch Waystation, and the rewards can be great.

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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Aug 22, 2013 7:10 PM CST
Yes, Monarchs need our help, especially this year when they have been very scarce.
I have a feeling that the city spraying to kill mosquitos in order to fight the west nile virus has a lot to do with the lack of monarchs.
Nevertheless we must keep on trying, they are just too Precious.
Thank you for writing this, I hope it will inspire a lot of people to give a Waystation a try. Hurray!
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Name: Tara
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terrafirma
Aug 22, 2013 7:28 PM CST
I so agree…Monarchs are certainly in need of our help.
I had Monarchs visiting my garden very regularly a couple of years ago…
This year though, I have seen only one!
I too, am curious about the 'spraying' to kill mosquitos! Our city seems to have been quite vigilant in trying to control the mosquito population. And this does have an effect on our butterfly population!

I would also like to add…Parsley is a great host for the Monarch cats. All types…from the Italian flat leaf, to the Curly…They love them all! If you grow this wonderful biennial, then please, plant a couple extra for the Monarchs!

Thanks so much, SongofJoy, for a wonderful article…And a great reminder of how important these creatures are to our wellbeing! Smiling
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Aug 22, 2013 7:31 PM CST
Wonderful and timely article! Until a few weeks ago I was seeing quite a few Monarchs around. They laid eggs on the A. curassavica (Tropical Milkweed) and I saw a few Caterpillars but not for long ... I'm afraid they were predated by wasps. Crying

Thanks so much for this excellent article; I'd like to try my hand at providing a Waystation for these beautiful Butterflies.

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 22, 2013 7:46 PM CST
SongofJoy, great piece, great detail, I have planted some milkweed but will make a huge effort to create a waystation next season. Thanks a bunch for the inspiration.

Question for terrafirma please? Do you have your monarch which eats only milkweed mixed up with the swallowtail which eats parsley, carrot tops, dill, etc.? We are currently keeping several swallowtail caterpillars in a pre-school class setting and were able to release the first butterfly today. While I feel silly buying produce for caterpillars, it's the only way to keep the little guys fed.
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Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Aug 22, 2013 7:57 PM CST
greene said:monarch eats only milkweed.

I agree The Monarch B'fly lays it's eggs only on Milkweed plants, the only host plant for the Monarch caterpillar:http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/monarch.htm
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
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Bubbles
Aug 22, 2013 9:25 PM CST
We've had a difficult time keeping the milkweed alive due to the extreme heat this summer. I hope to keep it going for their trip through here in October.
Great, informative article!
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
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frostweed
Aug 22, 2013 9:41 PM CST
I keep Asclepias curassavica in pots year round, since it is not winter hardy in this area, I bring the pots into the garage during freezing weather and out again when it warms up. This way I have fresh and growing milkweed for the monarchs when they come by in the spring.
Also having the plants potted allows me to move them around to good locations and I can keep them watered more easily.
It works very well for me and the monarchs. Smiling
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Moby
Aug 22, 2013 10:32 PM CST
Glad to see a great article about the Monarch Waystation program! Thumbs up

Moby
Waystation #4977
Where are we going, and why am I in this hand-basket?
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Aug 23, 2013 2:42 AM CST
Wonderful article! Thank you so much Thumbs up
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Aug 23, 2013 3:40 AM CST
terrafirma said:
I would also like to add…Parsley is a great host for the Monarch cats. All types…from the Italian flat leaf, to the Curly…They love them all! If you grow this wonderful biennial, then please, plant a couple extra for the Monarchs!

Thanks so much, SongofJoy, for a wonderful article…And a great reminder of how important these creatures are to our wellbeing! Smiling


Thanks for commenting, terrafirma. The caterpillar of the Black Swallowtail butterfly looks somewhat similar to a Monarch cat and that might be what you are seeing. The BST do love their parsley and dill.


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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Aug 23, 2013 3:44 AM CST
Thanks for all the positive comments, everyone. I very much appreciate the feedback. Once a Monarch lover, always a Monarch lover. Smiling


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Tara
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terrafirma
Aug 23, 2013 5:55 AM CST
Well, I'll be... *Blush*
They are the Black Swallowtail cats.

Thanks, Mary, Lin, and SongofJoy…I've learned that what I've been seeing and thinking all along is wrong. You're right…While there may be some similarities…What I have been seeing is the BST's, and while that is not such a bad thing, it also means that I've never had/seen a Monarch cat in my garden!
You can bet that I'll be busy working on my own 'Monarch Waystation'!!!!

I know I have the Gulf Frits, and the BST's *Blush* , it's time to get busy!
Thanks again!
And it's great to learn something anew everyday! I tip my hat to you.
Name: Michele Roth
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chelle
Aug 23, 2013 6:37 AM CST
I haven't actually seen a Monarch cat for a couple of years now, but I'll continue to add more plants for them anyway...just in case. Smiling

We have encouraged our lake-shore and marshland to return to their natural states, however, and they're now buried in Asclepias incarnata, so it's entirely possible that they're utilizing those plants instead of coming into the garden proper. I really do hope so.

Thanks for the great article!

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Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Aug 23, 2013 6:59 AM CST
Great Article! Very informative, perfect information, and I betcha lots of folks will want to get going on their Waystation garden now!

Thanks, SongofJoy~ (I bet Monarchs sing songs of joy at those waystations!) Smiling
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 23, 2013 8:59 AM CST
Don't know if anyone already posted this:

http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/

The site has lots of info, list suggested plants as the nectar source for the butterflies (both east coast and west coast lists).

Even shows how to get 'officially' registered if you wish.
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Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Aug 23, 2013 9:52 AM CST
Mary: Yes, that's part of the link SongofJoy provided in her article: http://www.monarchwatch.org/ and I agree, lots of great information provided there. I'd love to try my hand at a Monarch Waystation ... and I may look into it next spring!
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Aug 23, 2013 2:11 PM CST
Thanks lin, I see it now.
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Marilyn
Aug 23, 2013 5:04 PM CST
Thanks Tee (Song of Joy) for writing this wonderful article! I tip my hat to you. Hurray! Thumbs up

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dormantsrule
Aug 23, 2013 5:25 PM CST
frostweed said:I keep Asclepias curassavica in pots year round, since it is not winter hardy in this area, I bring the pots into the garage during freezing weather and out again when it warms up. This way I have fresh and growing milkweed for the monarchs when they come by in the spring.
Also having the plants potted allows me to move them around to good locations and I can keep them watered more easily.
It works very well for me and the monarchs. Smiling


Great idea and wondering what size pots you use.

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Name: Mary
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fiwit
Aug 23, 2013 5:26 PM CST
frostweed said:I keep Asclepias curassavica in pots year round, since it is not winter hardy in this area, I bring the pots into the garage during freezing weather and out again when it warms up. This way I have fresh and growing milkweed for the monarchs when they come by in the spring.
Also having the plants potted allows me to move them around to good locations and I can keep them watered more easily.
It works very well for me and the monarchs. Smiling


You should submit this as a tip. Thumbs up
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