More great ideas from California: tips for planting milkweed to lure Monarch butterflies to your garden. California has a separate Monarch butterfly population that migrates up and down the California coast–a different crew from the ones we see here in Texas. That said, the insights from the above referenced Los Angeles Times piece translate well to Texas.
Take a look.
We’re so lucky in Texas to reside on the Monarch flyway. The Monarch butterflies East of the Rocky Mountains grace us with their presence each spring and fall as they migrate between Mexico and Canada. Why not help these gorgeous creatures by creating a nectaring and host plant rest stop for them to take a break from their long journey?
It’s not too late for seed. You can also propagate milkweed from cuttings. I like a mix of compost, soil, and vermiculite with a tad of perlite thrown in. Give it a shot–and let us know how it goes by leaving a comment here.
A reader suggested we consider seed infused paper–wildflower seed mixed into paper pulp, another idea worth exploring. If any of you have tried this, please share.
Hi, Monika. I collected seeds from the milkweed (the kind nurseries sell— tuberosa?) in my garden and put them in peat pellets. Some of them I pre-germinated in moist paper towels. Anyway, they’re sprouting and now a couple of inches high. I also have two native milkweed sprouts coming up whose seeds came from a friend’s property. For some reason, the native milkweed seeds were harder to germinate. Up until last week, I had Queens on my milkweeds almost non-stop. The milkweed leaves (what was left) finally shriveled up and fell off. It was sad because I counted three 2nd or 3rd instar caterpillars and a fifth instar disappeared last Thursday, so I’m assuming that one wandered off to make its chrysalis. (Wish I could find it.) I wonder if it will stay alive and a butterfly will emerge. I guess the little cats died because there’s nothing left for them to eat, unless they can eat stems! On Christmas Day (this is so cool!), three Queens emerged within 15 minutes of each other. (Those were Queens that I brought inside as EGGS and then kept them supplied with milkweed leaves throughout their caterpillar “lives.” What a satisfying endeavor that was! I’d never watched a butterfly form, and now that I’ve seen it happen from beginning to end, I’m hooked.
I also have three two-tailed swallowtail chrysalises in my refrigerator waiting for spring!!
How fun–Christmas chrysalises! Sounds like you’ve caught the butterfly bug. I can relate. Keep us posted on the Swallowtails, they are soooo independent minded. And thanks for writing.