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Beginner Gardening: Good or Bad caterpillar on my Butterfly plant

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 5, Views: 203
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Clifton Hill, MO

August 9, 2010
9:13 AM

Post #8028781

I just saw these on my butterfly plant this morning and wondered if anyone can tell me what kind of caterpillar they are and if I should leave them alone. Thanks!

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Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

August 9, 2010
11:20 AM

Post #8029110

Those are monarch caterpillars so definitely leave them. I get them on my butterfly weed and they can eat a lot of the leaves but the plant will replace them after the cats get done. Wish I could go check my butterfly weed to see if I have any but I'm in a cast and can't get out there :-{
Clifton Hill, MO

August 10, 2010
6:22 PM

Post #8032347

Sorry to hear you can't get outside to your flowers. :( Thanks for the info, I thought they looked like a good caterpillar but just wasn't sure. BTW, they weren't even there tonight. Do you know if you can plant the milkweed, I was thinking those are the best food for caterpillars. I love my flowers and watching the butterflies around them. Hope you are up and about soon.
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

August 11, 2010
8:40 AM

Post #8033370

Check some of the high places around your butterfly weed to see if they've made their crysalis (sp?). One year I had milkweed still in pots sitting in a flowerbed and had several of the monarch cats on them. They disappeared and I was afraid birds had gotten them but sometime later saw a monarch drying it wings up under the eaves of our house. There were several more that were very close to emerging so I got my daughter to bring the grandkids over the next day. They were thrilled to get to see two of the butterflies that were newly emerged and one halfway emerged. It's fun to watch the whole process.
New Port Richey, FL

August 28, 2010
3:50 AM

Post #8066585

i plant lots of fennel in my flower and veggie beds. the foliage is georgous and the cats love it. it recovers quickly and seems to deter some of the bad bugs i,ve had the bulbing type last for several years.
Mebane, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 30, 2011
8:13 PM

Post #8948466

To answer your question about Monarch food, milkweed is the only food for the caterpillars. You shouldn't have to worry too much about the birds eating them. That is why they eat milkweed, it is poisonous but instead of killing the MonCats, it makes them poisonous also and the birds know it. That is why some other butterflies mimic the Monarch! :)

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