monarch caterpillars in the garden!

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

To my surprise, apparently, I grew a milkweed plant, or as it was sold to me "wild cotton". Fortunately, it's been growing for about 6 months, because they're devouring it now.

I'm happy to share my plant with them, but afraid they'll run out of food. Ought I buy a backup one? How long until they stop eating and get all pretty?

Thumbnail by Nola_Nigella
central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Monarch development from egg to adult is completed in about 30 days
but the butterflies also lay their eggs on milkweed, so it's always in cycle

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Here is a little info on Monarchs in Louisiana....they do nectar other plants besides milkweed.

http://www.abirdshome.com/resource/la/92.htm

I try to gather a few milkweed plants from nursery sale bins to keep in pots for the migrating monarchs also. Depending on our winters, many times the plants survive and come back in the spring, or just go dormant for a time.

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

The larva take 10-14 days to get ready to pupate. While they are larva, they eat the milkweed plants. Then they make their pupa. When they come out, they are butterflies that need nectar plants that do not need to be milkweeds.

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

Thanks, y'all. I guess that butterfly bush I stuck in my veggie garden worked!

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

Nice! If you have space, try a Lantana shrub. You'll have butterflies on that for months also.

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