July 31, 2015

Just Call Me the …

… Crazy Caterpillar Lady.  Last summer I was beguiled by baby hummingbirds.  This summer I’ve been captivated by caterpillars and enthralled by stunning Monarch butterflies.  Bringing caterpillars and chrysalides home have had a domino-effect of complementary activities: 
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I’ve bought & planted milkweed.  And I’ve grown/planted milkweed from cuttings.
Helpful links:  http://www.monarchwatch.org/milkweed/prop.htm
I’ve released my baby butterflies in the backyard – had them dry their new wings – on the milkweed I planted.  They’ve laid lots of eggs!
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I’ve attempted to grow pentas from cuttings (slow process, so I just bought a gallon-size penta).
Helpful link:  http://homeguides.sfgate.com/make-cuttings-pentas-72098.html
http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/1926357/easiest-way-to-root-penta-cuttings  (3rd comment down, juneroses)

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I have harvested milkweed seed…
Helpful link:  http://www.ourhabitatgarden.org/creatures/milkweed-growing.html

Growing from seed instructions & trimming instructions to promote thicker growth:  http://www.livemonarch.com/growinginstructions.htm

Buying inexpensive small live milkweed plants:  http://www.livemonarch.com/store_plants.php
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The last milkweed cutting I brought home apparently had butterfly eggs on it, as baby caterpillars showed up about a week later.  So yesterday I decided to go ahead and build a cheap domicile for them… (btw, all thanks to Anita for this geniously inexpensive and easy-to-make caterpillar habitat!) 
Helpful link: http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/1786871/homemade-rearing-eclosing-cage
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There.  Hopefully, I’ve remembered & listed all the helpful sites, so I can easily find them again after I forget all this :-p.


Anita Johnson said...

How did I miss this post??? I haven't said anything on my blog, but we are moving! Just 15 miles down the street to the country! And we have no milkweed there. We have tons of it here, I will dig some, but I will try to grow some from cuttings,,,thanks for the tip! I'm hooked on Monarchs too. Their story is so amazing. Just like your photography!

Anna said...

What a fun photo series! Thanks for sharing.

MEN (Simplicity Redesigned) said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. I homeschool and our 33 Painted Lady Butterfly eggs arrived this morning. Your temporary butterfly home will work perfectly for us to watch them hatch and grow into beautiful butterflies.

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