Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: I still have caterpillars and chrysalis.

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Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
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honeyx4
Dec 22, 2017 11:01 AM CST
This was the first year I grew milkweed. Its been fun to watch the butterfly cycles and I learned a lot. I went out this morning to check on some caterpillars I'd seen earlier in the week. I was surprised there were still some out there, the plant is almost bare, they were eating the stem. I found this guy attaching himself and beginning the chrysalis stage. I was lucky to catch this stage of the process.
Thumb of 2017-12-22/honeyx4/34feef

Name: pam
gainesville fl (Zone 8b)
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Native Plants and Wildflowers Dragonflies Hummingbirder
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gardenglory
Dec 29, 2017 10:57 AM CST
Nice. Im worried about the weather. Its suppose to get in the 30's here and I brought the milkweed in that has the cats feeding. I hope this is ok, or should I let them hibernate.
Name: Honey
9a (Zone 9a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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honeyx4
Dec 30, 2017 6:46 AM CST
I'm concerned also but I'm not going to intervene. All of my plants are in the ground not in pots and I don't have cages or any of the tihngs that people use when they are actually raising cats.
Name: Beverly
Colima, Mexico (Zone 11a)
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vitrsna
Dec 30, 2017 11:08 AM CST
@honeyx4 I think your caterpillars will be okay outside. If they don't have enough food, you can leave them slices of butternut squash or similar out. They will eat this. They will winter over in the chrysalis or if the weather stays warm enough they may eclose in about 9 days. Smiling
Name: Judy
Mid Atlantic Coastal Plain USA (Zone 7b)
Butterflies
MariposaMaid
Jan 5, 2018 9:00 AM CST
As far as I know, Monarchs DO NOT overwinter or hibernate except as adult butterflies unlike some other butterflies like Swallowtails who surviive winter cold as pupae .
Name: Beverly
Colima, Mexico (Zone 11a)
Butterflies Organic Gardener Tropicals Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter
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vitrsna
Jan 5, 2018 3:25 PM CST
Thank you for your comment @MariposaMaid. I think you are right. I did a search for Monarch chrysalises going into diapause and didn't find anything conclusive, but it was a quick search as time allowed. My familiarity re Monarch processes is pretty much confined to include the more southern climates. Still i think they would be safe in zone 9. Not sure what they get up to in the northern climates Rolling my eyes.

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