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Beginner Flowers: monarch caterpillars in the garden!

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Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

November 8, 2012
9:25 AM

Post #9327885

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?

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flowAjen

flowAjen
central, NJ
(Zone 6b)

November 8, 2012
10:51 AM

Post #9327955

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

themoonhowl

themoonhowl
Prairieville, LA
(Zone 9a)

November 9, 2012
11:03 AM

Post #9328933

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.

purpleinopp
Opp, AL
(Zone 8b)

November 10, 2012
6:01 AM

Post #9329509

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.

Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

November 10, 2012
8:37 AM

Post #9329623

Thanks, y'all. I guess that butterfly bush I stuck in my veggie garden worked!
purpleinopp
Opp, AL
(Zone 8b)

November 11, 2012
12:43 PM

Post #9330457

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

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