First we had bees in our bonnet, then we had caterpillars coming out our ears… not literally of course!
Several weeks ago we had some very blustery windy weather, which gave our swan plants a hard time. After staking the largest one, then binding it when the main trunk split, finally we gave up and trimmed a group of them right back. They are just starting to sprout again now. We brought all the cut pieces inside and kept them in buckets of water in the garage, in case there were any monarch eggs. After a few weeks, we had so many caterpillars we had to start transferring the biggest ones back outside to our one remaining swan plant, as well as adopting some out to our friend Cos (the butterfly lady). We’ve seen a few wasps around, so John ‘netted’ our plant to prevent the saved caterpillars from being eaten. One of our neighbors told him the Monarch Butterfly society should give us a medal! 🙂 The net will also discourage butterflies from laying further eggs on the plant, and hopefully keep it from being stripped totally bare.
Netted swan plant
We have cleaned up the dying plants in the garage, and now have just two lidded containers with big caterpillars feeding & growing. It’s good to have the garage space back, as it will be needed for assembling kitchens again soon.
So far we have six chrysalises, and expect to have lots more within the next week, as there are some very fat caterpillars!