This was on one of the plants I received yesterday from Rose Franklin. I found it when I went outside to put them in the ground this morning. I know they can meet many dangers outside and wanted to try to save it so I brought the plant back inside but it is being consumed rapidly. It is a very small (asclepias incarnata). I have several different milkweeds growing outside in the yard, but don't know very much about "raising" these beauties. Can anyone offer suggestions? Thanks.
Bonus with my milkweed order
I hope someone knowledgeable chimes in. I have a couple of Mexican milkweed plants and they are about 5' tall. I've seen cats just like the one in the pic above but they always seem to disappear. Heck, just today a saw one in the morning about 1" long but it was gone in the evening...hopefully it was elsewhere in the garden but like I said, my plants are pretty tall. I guess its the birds, right? I also see this big red wasp hanging around the plants. Anyway, I may need to expand my operations and hedge my bets so to speak.
I would bring the plant inside if you can find the little guy on it. They have a much better chance inside away from predators. Any type of clear glass or plastic jar or enclosure that you can "screen in" the top on is great. Even an old pickle jar with screen or tulle across the top. They will eat (in my experience) 3 BIG leaves a day each. At the end they may eat more.
If you can't bring the whole plant inside, just give them a few leaves a day in their container. You can put the stems in a little reservior of water (but make sure the can't fall in and drown) to keep them fresh.
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Thanks for the responses. I did hear from the lady I purchased the plants from, Rose Franklin, and she gave me lots of help. I was already aware that the predators usually get these beauties and that's why I decided to bring it inside. I kept it with the plants I had purchased until today. I had a few other milkweed growing in the yard, but wasn 't sure at first if it would eat any of the others. Rose told me it would eat any of them. I put him/her in a small two gallon beta tank with paper towels on the bottom and a few stalks of the plant he was eating. I took him/her? to my daughter's house this morning for her to adopt as she has lots more miklweed growing than I and is also a butterfly lover. I am delighted to know that there are others of like mind. My husband thought I was nuts wanting to save a caterpillar. I kept telling him it was a monarch butterfly I was saving.
Go to the top of the forum and look at the "sticky" thread. There are several types of cages and methods people have posted there.
As for me, I have a diary blog here.
I read your diary blog. Loved it! I grow rue, parsley and have way too much bronze fennel for the space I have. It loves it here in my garden and self sows all over my beds. Lots of milkweeds here too. The common kind I transplanted from around some railroad tracks here in town has spread well. I also have the other kinds growing just so they would have food and nectarl. It's really quite wonderful watching it happen. Thanks for sharing and offering directions to where to go to learn.
You are welcome. If you have the rue you may have two types of cats on it; Giant, and Black Swallowtails use it to lay their eggs.
Look here for the pictures of what the caterpillars, and adults look like; also has a list of plants that are host plants by butterfly. www.dallasbutterflies.com
Thank you once again. The pictures are awesome! Haven't read all the rest of the information, but I will. I am certain we don't host all of the same butterflies here in Maryland, but knowing how to identify those that do is really helpful
I have seen the 'sticky threads' on several forums, but don't know what they are. Can you tell me?
It's basically a reference thread that has alot of good information, and is "stuck" at the top of the forum.
I know you are new Crit so in case you don't know how to get there.....look just below this post and there will be a link to the forum. It will be the first thread there, doesn't have a picture either.
This message was edited Aug 21, 2010 6:11 AM
Thanks Sheila. I have looked at them, just didn't know why they said sticky.....lol
Ok that is very very cool and probably one of the best bonuses I've heard of. I have some asclepias tuberosa seedlings growing in a small pot and I received 10 incarnata seeds in a trade, so I hope I get to see a monarch or two next year.