Will Monarchs eat all the large seed pods on the plant or did someone passing by on the street take my almost ready seed pods?
My seed pods disappeared!
I've had Monarchs eat "at" the seed pods but they always seem to leave part of the pod in place. i guess they might eat all of the pods if there were not any flowers or leaves to eat or generally if the plant was fairly bare. They will also eat the top layer of the stems. But i've never seen them kill a plant...they will pupate prematurely before they do that.
Is there a clean cut where the seed pods used to be? My guess is that a passer-by helped him or her self to your almost ripe seed pods. No, I cannot imagine that the caterpillars would eat ALL the seed pods. They are much smarter than humans in this regard...they do not destroy their food sources.
Monarchs will eat the casing of the seed pod, but I've never seen one eat the seeds. I've read that the milkweed bugs eat the seeds but I imagine you would have spotted that. Seems like someone wanted some of your seeds!
What type of plant did someone help themselves to? I have a few seeds of Asclepias tuberosa left that I'd be willing to send your way if you want.
Does milkweed come back from roots or does it it reseed?
Both - milkweed will come back from its roots plus it is a prolific reseeder. I've got milkweed in parts of my yard where I never planted milkweed. But I let it grow and eventually the butterflies find it.
The birds are quite free with helping themselves to seed pods as well...and seldom stop to say thanks!...
I was counting on taking those seed pods to the RU today. I think some more are beginning to form. I'll try to keep a closer eye on them. Does anyone know how soon I could pick them and they turn out ok?
Generally, when the seed pod forms even the smallest crack length wise so that there is a small length wise opening in the seed pod, the seeds are ready to harvest.
I've never seen birds eat the seed pods txaggie...wouldn't the toxins make the birds sick? I know they get sick or very sick or die (depending on the size of the bird) if they eat a caterpillar or a butterfly who has eaten asclepias.
Perhaps birds took th fluff to line their nests. I've seen them doing that.
From the looks of things, I think a human took the pods. There is no sign of shreds of the pods or the ragged edges a caterpillar would leave, no pieces on the ground, etc. I'll have to watche the next batch carefully.
Just thought someone reading this might benefit from seeing this tip on how to harvest MW seeds. Frostweed told me years ago and it sure avoids a lot of fluff! Onalee posted this complete with pictures.