Minnesota Monarchs!

Tony G(5a)May 26, 2011

We are 2 days later than last year, but I have finally seen the first monarch flying around our yard today.

There have been reports of monarchs here since the 11th but I hadn't seen any fluttering about.

Our common milkweed is more than ready for eggs so I'm hoping they don't start laying on the tropical plants.

Our first visitor has been nectaring from the salvia coccinea, so I'm glad we made that addition!

Still no signs of the swallowtails as I heard Miss Sherry mention recently. We had our first swallowtails in MARCH last year. Where have they gone?

signed, finally something to talk about in Minnesota :)

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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I've been looking at my milkweed because of you but finding nothing. My son doesn't buy that Minnesota gets monarchs before we do. :)

Had my first BST of the year eclose today so I have giant, tiger and black swallowtails flying around here. I guess I'll trade those for May monarchs.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 6:26PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congrats, congrats on seeing a monarch - 'nothing like a butterfly to brighten things up!

Sherry

    Bookmark   May 26, 2011 at 8:31PM
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minrose(4Mn)

So glad to hear you are seeing Monarchs finally! Last year by May 25th I already had 30 eggs or small catepillars. By May 31 I had 107! So far this year, I have not found any eggs and I have been looking quite a bit. I am finding milkweed pop up quite a bit now! I discovered my milkweed patch has alot of coming up, I am so excited. Now for the Monarchs to come and discover it!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 7:10AM
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Tony G(5a)

KC...This is actually the latest I have seen them in the past 3 years. It has been unseasonably cool but that all ends tomorrow when we enter a string of 70's and 80's...YES!!!

I was running today on trails around the Mississippi and saw my second monarch on this lukewarm low 60's day so tell your son I'm not crazy! ;)

This could be the latest I've gone without seeing a swallowtail though...

Minrose, I had a ton of eggs by this time last year too but my visitor sadly left none.

Start looking this weekend though since our weather will be more butterfly friendly.

Miss Sherry, it's been a long winter but your butterfly stories and pictures have kept me hopeful. Thank you!

Tony

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 8:58PM
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ericwi

Here in Madison, Wisconsin, it got down to about 40 last night, and we have had considerable rain lately. Great weather for emerging perennials like milkweed, and the lawns have greened up nicely, but still too cold for monarchs. I am checking every day, but no eggs yet.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 10:13PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I went out today to check my milkweed. Some animal (I figure the deer) chewed off all my common milkweed at around 9" tall. They are in a sea of ash seedlings but it looks like the milkweed is the only thing that got chewed.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:38PM
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Tony G(5a)

I didn't think deer liked milkweed! Sorry to hear about that KC. hopefully you have other types of milkweed?

Eric, the warm weather is on it's way...it is supposed to be 86 here on memorial day and then a week straight of sun with 70's and 80's. sounds like good egg laying weather to me! ;)

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 11:29PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Saw my first monarch of the year. It was getting some nectar from my neighbor's flowers. Spent about a minute here and moved on. I guess it had places to be besides my butterfly paradise :(

Something was chewing down my swamp milkweed last night. Same height as the common milkweed so I'm still blaming the deer.

KC

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 5:53PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

The monarchs decided NOT to pass me by. Found 7 eggs on my Sullivant's milkweed today.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 1:05PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

That's great, KC!!

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 1:55PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

KC, that's awesome! I've heard that Sullivan's MW is a good host plant. I've got some I planted last year (grown from seed), but it seems to take forever for these plants to get very big. Any hints on growing them? They are native here--just not plentiful.

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:01PM
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Tony G(5a)

Congrats KC! Tell your son you guys won this year. ;) the weather has been so strange in Minnesota this spring. First it was never ending rain and cold. Then for the last few days it's been sunny with hurricane force winds...ok, I'm exaggerating a bit but definitely too windy for the butterflies. Today is finally better butterfly weather. This is my latest monarch year in recent memory. I hope it picks up soon. Enjoy your butterflies! Tony

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 3:42PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Yea KC! Is your Sullivants from Ohio? I know some folks down here who have some but I have yet to avail myself. Oh and MY monarchs have already pupated :). I have 28 chrysalises. Phew...
Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 8:46PM
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minrose(4Mn)

So far I have found 5 eggs, but tonight went I went looking I found a ton on some milkweed, it was getting late though, will pick them in the morning, probably will be adding about 10 or more to my collection.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 10:51PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I got mine from Prairie Nursery.
http://www.prairienursery.com

Sandy,
This is year 2 for mine. I bought 7 plants last year. Planted them in clay. Some did not make it. Some struggled. None of them really did well. Really skinny leaves seemed to be a common problem. They did attract mama monarchs last year but I think I moved all the eggs to swamp and common.

So far, I have 13 coming up this year so I cannot complain about their multiplication. Most already look better than last year but I have 3 with the skinny leaf syndrome (my term for it).

As you probably guessed, I'm fresh out of hints on how to get better growth out of them. I'm just glad their growing.

KC

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:51PM
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