Raising Monarchs in the city?

tiffy_z5_6_can(5/6)May 14, 2011

Not sure if this is a stupid question or not...

As some of you may recall, I've been raising Monarchs for the past few years on 1/2 acre in a rural seaside community in Nova Scotia, Canada. On March 31st I had to leave and temporarily - God be willing - move to the city.

In the Agreement of Sale, I was granted a day when I could return to the property to remove/divide plants. That is happening tomorrow, May 15th. The majority of plants I will be removing are Aslepias and my original plan was to bring them to my parent's 5 acre property when I take trips there this summer.

But I was just looking at my little deck (3 feet by 5 feet)and thinking that maybe I could pot some of them up and keep on my deck. If the Monarchs come, I could raise some here, and if not, I could take some cats from my parent's gardens and bring them here to raise them since I would have food for them.

Any thoughts? Any advice on potting/container growing?

The area in which I live now is residential, lots of trees and lakes. It's an upstairs flat in a private home. Not all of it is concrete, but I have no green space unless I go the container route and I need something to keep me sane. I miss my old gardens horribly.

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fighting8r(10 Fort Myers Florida)

I know I'd have a container garden, long as I had a couple of feet outdoors to set them. Not being familiar with the plants in your zone I don't have much advice, but I don't see why it would not work!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 10:27AM
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Monarchs will locate milkweed in a container garden, if you have enough plants for them to home in on. Four or five plants is good, 10 is better. Milkweed does not like to be dug up and moved after it has leafed out, but maybe your plants are still dormant? You might end up with potted milkweed from a greenhouse, which could be toxic to butterflies during the first month, if they have been sprayed with insecticide. Eventually the plants should clear of any artificial toxins that were previously applied.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:05PM
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Tony G(5a)

Hello, I think the best milkweed for potting is tropical and unlike other milkweed, it's easy to transplant. Good luck, Tony

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Well, I'm heading out to dig up. The ones I will remove are all Incarnata and are a year old. Last year I did move and divide a five year old Incarnata without issues, so I will try it with the younger plants and see what happens.

I had some mature Tropical Milkweed, but gave it away since they have to be kept inside here to overwinter. I may try to grow more once I locate the box with the seeds I have.

I am encouraged that I may be able to continue to do something which I so enjoyed. :O)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 8:52AM
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garnet69(6A S.Ont)

So Tiffy, how did the dig up go? I hope you'll be able to grow some Milkweed in a container on your deck. You might want to put some window boxes with annuals on your deck to help attract the butterflies. Hopefully, if they see your Milkweed it will encourage them to "leave a deposit".
Good luck with your new adventures in butterfly gardening and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 10:48PM
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