All About Monarchs

04 Sep All About Monarchs


Have you checked your Asclepias tuberosa (Orange Butterfly Weed) recently? 

Have you checked your Asclepias tuberosa (Orange Butterfly Weed) recently? This was our top selling plant in 2013 and is on its way to the same title in 2014. So we know a lot of you have it! If you do, go check it for monarch caterpillars. Last fall I planted a 20′ x 3′ butterfly garden on my south foundation and added two Asclepias tuberosa plants to it. Monarch butterflies not only love to nectar on the pretty orange flower, they look for any Asclepias plant to lay their eggs on. Monarch caterpillars eat this plant and need it to carry on future generations. I carefully looked at my two plants and found an astonishing ELEVEN big fat monarch caterpillars! I could not believe it! Usually they lay just a couple of eggs per plant. Maybe this monarch could not find another milkweed nearby to lay them on so she went a little crazy on these?

If you would like to see an album of these eleven caterpillars and what I decided to do with them please click here and see the album on facebook. You do not need to be a member of facebook to see the photos. If you want to comment on them, you do.


Monarchs are struggling and dwindling in numbers. Do you want to learn how to raise and tag them? I have been doing just that for the past few years and have added a workshop on Sunday, September 14th at 11am to explain the process and if the stars align and we get really lucky, some of these caterpillars will hatch and we can tag and release them that day.