Help Save The Monarchs! Raising monarch butterflies

Monroe City, MO(Zone 6a)

The caterpillar rearing is in full gear. Eggs...newly hatched cats up to all different stages. Some in their chrysalis stage. The predators are everywhere to be seen...spiders, dragonflies, stinkbugs, birds, and the monarchs fighting the battle!
Please feel free to show your monarchs!
I love Monarch Butterflies! Help Save The Monarchs

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Barling, AR(Zone 7b)

Way to go grannyh !!! I've seen a few Monarchs this summer but no eggs or cats. Do you try to protect and raise all the cats or only select few ?

Monroe City, MO(Zone 6a)

Hi C_A_Ivy! ~ Thank you! I scoop up any eggs or tiny caterpillars that I happen to find. I find most of them when I go out to cut fresh milkweed for our already growing cats in containers. I've found out that it's always best to check under each individual leaf whenever cutting milkweed tips! My DH finds it very interesting to watch and he is so patient with all my gardening goingson!

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Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

grannyh This season I am not rearing any but this week here , their are several here New wings means their probably eclosing here .

Yesterday another thread the cat pic , I left it alone , it was getting ready to pupate

And this Monarch this morning , brand new wings

This message was edited Aug 9, 2015 4:05 PM

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(Patti) Wichita, KS(Zone 6b)

Dragonflies? Now I'm heartsick. I love the monarchs, but I love the dragonflies too.

Did you check your D-Mail grannyh?

Barling, AR(Zone 7b)

Monarch cats consumed 35 plants of tropical milkweed. So 15 cats went into a pillar house while the rest were placed on wild common milkweed. Today, the last 9 of the 15 emerged as adults. I was busy most of the morning chasing away dragon and robber flies.
These two appeared to be discussing if they were ready for flight.

Pic 1. "Are U ready?"
Pic 2. "Give it a try."
Pic 3 "Ready or not, let's go!!!"

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Monroe City, MO(Zone 6a)

Yes, I did Patti! The pics were wonderful! Thank you so much!

CAIvy ~ Sounds like you are having a very good year with your monarchs!
So happy the monarchs have you for a friend! We are seeing lots of dragonflies this year also! :/
The Monarch Migration from the northern states has started but hasn't reached us here in the Midwest yet! We are keeping an eye to the sky!


Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

grannyh their on their way bunches here ,, raining today though . flights are grounded here currently


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(Patti) Wichita, KS(Zone 6b)

Wow Ju! They like your place (grin).

I am starting to research Catapillar enclosures etc. although I have milkweed seed – several kinds – nothing is planted so it wouldn't do any good to try to save them if I don't have anything to feed them. Hopefully, next year…

Should I plant the three types of milkweeds in different areas of the yard?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I don't really know ,
Past experience is like ,; For years milkweed vine would grow all over the peony , 1990's for a decade the Monarch were always there during summer ,
Last year the syrica seemed popular , this year the vines around the tuberosa (milkweed and privet seemed to be the place they enjoyed ,
One Constant , Something that is permanent (a combination) , in one place , with some annual of tropical origin like the Tithonia , or Zinnia ,

(Patti) Wichita, KS(Zone 6b)

Thank you, Ju. I think I will put each type separately. That way I can monitor more easily. I had already planned on planting zinnia, . (Benary's Giant Carmen Rose), in front of the milkweed? I just realized it will really take two years for this to bloom. I guess I will be looking for milkweed plugs at a native nursery next spring. Two years seems like a long time.

(Patti) Wichita, KS(Zone 6b)

I hope you realize you are participating in my education. I had to look up TIthonia. Of course, the seeds I want are out of stock. LOL I will put it on my watchlist so I can order when they're available again.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

What kind are you planning for , Most choose not to grow syrica , roadside milkweed , as in the garden it gets big and begins to grow where it wants ,
Vines also , got to watch them ,
They mostly are the milkweeds , slow to start , vigorous as they age a few seasons ,

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Mine are six to seven 7ft tall this year , What kind you looking for , or should I just plain old send ya some seeds when their ready , ? Zinnia of regular giants also , A baggie 1/3 or 1/2 full .
Lots,, ya know , lol

(Patti) Wichita, KS(Zone 6b)

Ju, I have seed for showy milkweed (asc. Specious), swamp milkweed (Asc Incarnata) and I miss spoke. I do not have butterfly weed. I have Joe pye weed. I thought I had ordered the butterfly weed and apparently I did not.

I was looking for the goldfinch variety of the Mexican sun flower. All of them are pretty though!
I would love some seed. Will send you a DMail. Thank you!

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

Just thought I'd pop in to tell you my Monarch tale.

I planted two incarnate last year. No action even though I did have a few blooms. I did see one Monarch in the garden which was one more than I saw the year before. This year at least 5 plants came up. I had many aphids and black and red bugs. They didn't however, stop the Monarchs from laying eggs.when I saw my first cats I went to the store and picked up a net laundry hamper. That night I collected 11 cats. A few days later I noticed more cats so I got a second hamper. I collected 15 more cats. A few days later I found more, so bought a third hamper. I collected 22 cats. Several of the last batch didn't make it, but 17 did become beautiful Monarchs. So I released 43 Monarchs in my garden this year. It was so satisfying to help these beautiful miracles.

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Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Congrats, joycet...what a wonderful story! That's a lot of Monarchs!
Those hampers look huge. Did you bring them inside or leave them outside?

There's a great thread called "Daily Pictures" that you might also enjoy in this same forum. It's not just pictures, but lots of great stories about experiences with butterflies and the plants that they love. The current thread is #111. I'm sure everyone there would love to hear about your Monarch experiences.

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

I kept them inside on my bay window. I love the blue hampers I used from Walmart because they have a top zipper AND a side zipper!


I've followed your post in another thread, Joyce, and wow - what a lot of work you did for those beautiful monarchs! I especially love the story where one found its way out of the hamper and hatched (?) on one of your house plants lol good thing your kitties didn't find it!!

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

HaHa...I guess I misunderstood. I saw a large barrel in one of your pictures and thought that's what your were referring to when you mentioned the hamper. That's why I said it looked huge.

A mesh hamper sounds like a great idea since it would breath and you could probably just hose it out when it's not being used or easily wash it in a sink.

I've seen everything from glass fish tanks to Tupperware used with great success. It probably doesn't really matter as long as the cats have a clean environment, enough air to breath and plenty of food.

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

Hi Susan. Yes, that was a great story about the escapee!

I brought in 11 cats for my first hamper. But a couple days later no matter how many times I counted, I could only come up with 10. Then when they made crysalides I could only count 10 of those. So I scratched my head and figured that somehow one of my six cats (felines that is) had found it and done away with it. After all those first Monarchs had emerged and been released I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Son of a gun! There it was on my schflera right beside the empty chrysalis!

This message was edited Sep 30, 2015 4:56 PM

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Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

about 2 weeks ago, I found a plump Monarch Cat on a Milkweed. Two days later, January 1st, it turned into a Chrysalis. Today is day 10.

We had a very HOT fall, and had 80s until Jan 1st, and now it has cooled off.

will the weather / colder temps effect the chrysalis?
I'm curious if some never turn into Butterflies.

I'm new to FL and have never had a Cat before.

I like the idea of the netted hamper.

also -- if anyone had images of the eggs, i'd love to see them as i have no idea what they look like.

Currently I only have Scarlet MW, though I should get a lot more seeds if I can.

Thanks in Advance,


Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi Terese,
The eggs are very, very tiny. I found several sites with cool pictures of Monarch Eggs and the Monarch Life Cycle. Hope they help.

The Daily Pictures thread hasn't been too active lately, but some of those folks could probably answer your questions about temperature fluctuations.

Franklin, OH(Zone 6a)

I haven't had any experience myself with late chrysalis but I have friends who say they might stay all winter and emerge in the cool would that be!?!?

Monroe City, MO(Zone 6a)

Raising Monarchs Update:

Over-wintering 45 small pots of Milkweed seeds 'incarnata' from last year's blooms.
Our original plants should return this Spring, but I like to have extras on hand,..just in case. Plus I love giving away the small milkweed potted plants to visitors in the Garden. Spreading the Monarch word! ;)

My sweet DH surprised me with an early Valentine's Day gift!...
A new Butterfly House for the Garden! Love that dear old man! :)

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Barling, AR(Zone 7b)

Nice butterfly house GrannyH. It's so sweet to have a spouse who lets use be butterfly nutts. I'm trying to over winter tropical milkweed in my garage window. So far, so good.
Saw several butterflies the last weekend of January. All were fresh specimens and had just emerged from their chrysalis. Crazy weather. Hope they don't freeze. Only managed one picture of a basking Cloudless Sulphur.
Spring is near.

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annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

good luck all. Trying to watch this thread but no luck so far...That's why I am posting here.

Barling, AR(Zone 7b)

Still waiting for the Monarch count from Mexico. Anyone heard any news?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

2016 winter count is not in yet ,, so I dunno ,,,

Here is Feb4 ..

Winnetka, CA

Thanks for the link Ju!!


Barling, AR(Zone 7b)

I grew tropical milkweed as an annual in 2015. Collected seeds and 8 out of 10 germinated in a test I conducted this winter. Free seeds to any Monarch lover that wants to try growing a tropical milkweed. Just send me a "D mail " with an address.
Note that growing this non native in northern U.S. may be debatable since Monarchs may lay eggs on it in the fall when they should be migrating. In my 7b area, thirty five monarchs eclosed in late August and early September from tropical milkweed host in the backyard. Then apparently headed south.

Monroe City, MO(Zone 6a)

C_A_Ivy ~ Hi there! I would like to try some of your tropical milkweed seeds. We are in Missouri but I'm not too concerned about the Monarchs hanging around too long in the Fall. Thru my own experience with them, I think they seem to know when it's time to move on. I have 'incarnata' and 'butterfly weed' overwintering outside in small pots. I would be happy to send you a couple of pots in a swap, if you would like, for your seeds. I will Dmail you my address. :) ....and Thank You!!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

My tropical Milkweed, (Asclepias) in containers are in full bloom here. No Monarch sighting yet. I'll be looking for Gulf frits for our area instead. :)

This message was edited Jul 31, 2016 1:20 PM

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Los Angeles, CA

I'm in the CA desert and don't have much room to garden but will be planting some colorful milkweed in fall, I've seen the local one and it's definitely not pretty. I do see an orange flowered one in nurseries for $10 for 1g but that's ridiculous for a weed.
I have watched cloudless sulphur flutter by, they can really travel fast. I have a native yellow daisy that was waving in the breeze, up, down and around. The Sulphur was gaining on it and at 10" apart it landed suddenly. That amazed me.

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Still no Monarch here, nor is there Gulf frits sighting. :(( There are plenty of flowers for nectar though.

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Monroe City, MO(Zone 6a)

Alright then...Monarch Butterflies...during the breeding season adults reach sexual maturity in four or five days. Yes, that's amazing! You release them...five days later they are looking for mates! :O
That being said:...We place newly emerged Monarchs on our Crabapple Tree..(the one we fondly call 'The Butterfly Tree' since they would AlwaYs fly to that particular tree anyway.)
Our first release this year of new Monarchs (16) was on July 28&29.
Again today, I watched a female Monarch all over the Milkweed in the Garden. Occasionally she would go over and rest in 'The Butterfly Tree' and then continue on with her business.
Coincidence??... ‪#‎IThinkNot‬ ^_^

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Barling, AR(Zone 7b)

Congrats Grannyh on a great Monarch rearing season. Hopefully a few of the new Monarchs will head my way soon.

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