Monarch Habitat

WardJohnsonJune 29, 2014

The plight of the Monarch butterfly is desperate. The population is down by 80% since 1992.

The Milkweed plant, which is the only sustenance for the Monarch caterpillar, has been decimated by various herbicides, pesticides, and overzealous developers

SaveOurMonarchs.org gives extensive info on how to save the monarchs, by extending the Milkweed habitat. Free Milkweed seeds are available at the website.

It is a worthwhile effort.

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Leafhead

Spread the word and spread the 'Weed.

No, not THAT weed LOL
In addition to Milkweed, we can also plant later blooming plants for the Southbound Migration. These plants include Asters, Goldenrod and Liatris, plus annuals such as Zinnias and Tithonia. (Mexican Sunflower). Monarchs depend more on nectar on the trip South and more on Milkweed (host) on the trip North.

John

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 10:27AM
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october17(5chgo)

Love that, "Spread the Weed". Would make a good tee shirt. With a pic of a milkweed and a monarch. Wish I had even a little bit of talent. I'd make one.

The monarch cats seem to prefer my swamp milkweed. They loved the orange butterfly weed flower buds, but the leaves, not so much.

I had some swamp milkweed die off over the winter. Still have a bunch, but not like last year.

Gonna have to research and buy some goldenrod seed. I'm going to clip my joe pye weed and hope it won't bloom til they are headed back south. They've already been checking out the tight buds on the joe pye.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 10:40PM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

If you are in the Chicago area, I have some Stiff Goldenrod and Showy Goldenrod seedlings that you could have, and I'd be happy to share them.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:25AM
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tracey_nj6(6)

I have plenty of nectar sources and loads of milkweed, but the Monarchs seem to be eluding my area for the 2nd year in a row. Last year I saw only 2, and had no caterpillars. I just saw my one and only yesterday. Been checking for caterpillars, but nothing, yet.
I also haven't seen any milkweed bugs yet, but for the first time, I'm overwhelmed with red milkweed beetles, mating their little hearts out. Ugh...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Leafhead

Squish the beetles. Daily. They damage the Milkweed plants and ELFs avoid these plants. I am fighting them as well as Japanese Beetles and Milkweed Weevil. The latter are quite a bit smaller than Red Milkweed Beetles and saw off the top new growth at the stem. The whole top then wilts and dies :( They especially like my Purple Milkweed and Swamp Milkweed.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 3:13PM
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october17(5chgo)

I would love some goldenrod berngrrl. I will try to email you, don't know if you allow it. I do, so you can email me if you like.

I just heard from someone that the red beetles are boxelder beetles. I knew they were familiar. There were tons and tons of them here when I bought this house. Got rid of all the box elders and I hadn't seen them for a few years. What are they doing on milkweed?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:11PM
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Leafhead

Boxelder bugs are completely different--not beetles at all. They're more closely related to Milkweed Bugs, but feed on Maples and other related trees. They look like dull versions of Milkweed Bugs.
Red Milkweed Beetles are true beetles and cause a lot of damage. They feed only on Milkweed.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:58AM
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october17(5chgo)

Thanks leafhead. I didn't think they were the same thing. The milkweed beetles are bigger too it seems. They sure have done damage. This is the first year I've had them. The patch they are in has been there about four years now.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:38AM
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DonnathePlantLady

I have been loving monarchs since I raised some catapillars when I was 10 yrs old. With their decline, I feel a certain responsibility to do my part in restoring their habitat. I bought common milkweed and now have about 100 envelopes to give to others. I appreciate being part of this forum so I can see what others are doing to help.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:04PM
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Leafhead

Welcome Donna, and thank you for your concern for the Monarch :-)>
I as well will be collecting and distributing various types of Milkweed seed as well as other wildflower seed vital to the Monarchs' survival. Please let me know if there is anything you need...

John

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 3:30PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Donna,
Ditto what John said. Anything you need or any questions you have, bring them here and we will fall over ourselves to help.

Martha

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:16AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I had a great idea. We have another thread going to encourage folk to collect seeds to share with others who want to start or expand their butterfly/nectar gardens. I would love to get another "Adopt a Newbie" exchange going, but I don't have the time or the organizational energy to make that work. But, the National Honors Society(s) at most high schools are always looking for service projects for the kids to work on. I wonder if they would take on the leg work of collecting the seeds, separating them into labelled baggies and organizing the redistribution and mailing? I'll check with my daughter, who is a senior, and see if they might be interested. I could even be the collection center, and they could show up one night and do the whole project in one sitting. Heck, I could just hire some of my daughter's friends to do the work for a few pizzas. It would also educate them re the plight of the pollinators.

I think I'll add this idea to the other thread and see what others think.

Martha

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:54AM
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