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Old 05-26-2018, 05:53 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,287 posts, read 4,865,859 times
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I bought a milkweed bush a few months ago because they were pretty and then the lady told me about the Monarch butterflies and how the only thing their caterpillars eat is the milkweed so I bought two more. It took awhile but I have caterpillars all over them. One bush had 16! The problem is they have eaten most of these plants completely bare. I don't know if I should go out and buy at least one more so they will survive to make their chrysalis or if when they run out of food they will make their chrysalis.


Some of them are very big but there are still a few very small ones. Also we are getting a tropical system later today with lots of rain and winds up to 30 mph. Should I bring them on to my patio? Two of the bushes are in the ground and one is in a pot. I was online looking up a lot of info about Monarchs and apparently some people raise them indoors. I have both a front and back screened patio with plenty of places for them to make their chrysalis' but I don't want to interfere with nature if I don't have to.


Anybody familiar with Monarchs? Should I go out and buy one more bush so they have food and then bring them onto the lanai ahead of the storm?
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:00 AM
 
Location: S. FL (hell for me-wife loves it)
3,172 posts, read 1,986,860 times
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Yes. I grow many species of milkweed for the state sub-species of monarchs. If you're in a pinch you
can also feed them pumpkin.

https://butterfly-fun-facts.com/mona...s-eat-pumpkin/

and:

https://texasbutterflyranch.com/2014...-caterpillars/

I think the caterpillars should be able to withstand the wind and rain we are going to have, so I'd let them be.
Good luck.

Last edited by TerraDown; 05-26-2018 at 06:16 AM..
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:11 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Hmm, wonder if I can find a pumpkin this time of year. I assume I have to cut it? Might be easier to get some cucumbers or just buy another milkweed bush. I can't wait to see a chrysalis. I saw what looked like the start of one that died on my frangipani which is where I assume they will go since it is in the same island with the milkweed.
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:47 AM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
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I have three different types of milkweed that I grow for the monarchs. Two are perennials, and the third is tropical milkweed. The tropical is grown by a local grower that does not use any pesticides in the process of growing them. So a word of warning about buying it. Please make sure you are feeding them something that is not going to kill them in the long run.
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Old 05-26-2018, 07:47 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,093 posts, read 5,897,864 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
Hmm, wonder if I can find a pumpkin this time of year. I assume I have to cut it? Might be easier to get some cucumbers or just buy another milkweed bush. I can't wait to see a chrysalis. I saw what looked like the start of one that died on my frangipani which is where I assume they will go since it is in the same island with the milkweed.


Canned pumpkin, maybe???

Thanks for protecting/helping them out, cl...
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Old 05-26-2018, 12:26 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Okay so I went out and bought two milkweed bushes from the local nursery. I didn't ask about pesticides since I didn't see LICenter's post till I returned. I put one in the front screened lanai and moved some of the caterpillars from the denuded bush. One is attempting to make a chrysalis and while I was looking at it I noticed one on the other side of the screen near the soffit. I've never seen one before.
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
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A bit of an aside, but I've noticed the monarchs like the pink milkweed I've planted more than the orange milkweed.
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Old 05-27-2018, 02:52 PM
 
Location: North State (California)
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Bless you, for such caring actions.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:41 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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All of this started when I was in the plant nursery a few months back and saw a milkweed plant and asked about it simply because I thought it was pretty. The employee told me about the Monarch butterflies and how they are endangered and how their caterpillars will only eat milkweed so I bought the one plant. I didn't even realize we had Monarchs in Florida. Well I started seeing a few Monarchs after a couple of weeks so then I went out and bought two more and bought one for my sister. It seemed like such a simple thing I could do and I wish more people would plant milkweed. Then Saturday I got the two additional ones.


This morning I noticed 4 chrysalis' in the screened in patio, 2 outside the patio and one on the milkweed plant itself. I will need to keep on eye on them so when they emerge I can set them free when their wings dry.


I have never seen pink milkweed in any of the garden centers or nurseries around here. They apparently only sell the multi colored ones. Perhaps they are the Florida species. I was told when the plants are bare to cut them down to about 12 inches and they will come back.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:00 AM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
2,204 posts, read 1,169,859 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
I have never seen pink milkweed in any of the garden centers or nurseries around here. They apparently only sell the multi colored ones. Perhaps they are the Florida species. I was told when the plants are bare to cut them down to about 12 inches and they will come back.
This is the pink milkweed that Mr Bond spoke of. https://www.wildflower.org/plants/re...?id_plant=asin
Also, given your climate, it would be cheaper for you to purchase tropical milkweed seeds, or wait to get seed pods from your plantings. They produce hundreds of seeds, so if any of your plants make it that far you should be good to go for a long time. Thanks for helping Mother Nature out!
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