Tropical Milkweed

caterwallinSeptember 12, 2012

This year my tropical milkweed got exceptionally tall (at least from what I observed here other years). It is about 4 feet tall and seems almost like a jungle when I'm trying to look for cats. Just yesterday I found about 40. I hope most of them make it...most of them are already fairly big. It's so hard to go through all of the milkweed when the plants are this big. They apparently mustn't have minded the dry summer; I didn't even water them and they look so nice and healthy. Here you can see them for yourself and I didn't even know when I took the picture that there's a Monarch cat near the front.

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Those look great, Cathy! Tropical milkweed can withstand some drought, so I'm not surprised it's looking good. 'Looks like you've got enough to feed a lot of monarchs and provide lots of nectar for adult butterflies to nectar on, too!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:29PM
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Thanks, Sherry! Yes, I have quite a bit of milkweed to feed lots of Monarchs. My season is winding down now though. All of the cats I have right now will pupate within the next few days if they haven't been parasitized, and I haven't been finding any eggs outside lately. I'm glad because it's getting pretty late for the Monarchs to be laying eggs and for their offspring to make it to Mexico considering from egg laying to adult stage takes 3 weeks or so. It's been getting pretty chilly here at night and I can see that some of the leaves on the milkweed plants are getting yellow. I hope that most of the butterflies that I'll be releasing will eclose before October.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:57PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Wow Cathy, gorgeous patch of Asclepias curassavica! Do you direct sow or start it in pots? It looks like you have some of the yellow flowers 'Silky gold' mixed in your patch. Do you save any seed that you could share? I would be thrilled to send you a SASBE, that seed is on my "want" list.

The Monarchs stopped laying around here about the 1st of September. The nights are getting quite cool here too. Almost 40F the other night!

I still have about 6 cats left, all 4th/5th instar, and about 25 chrysalises. Then, it's bye-bye to my Monarch babies. Sniff.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:37AM
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Thanks, Terrene! Sure, I could save some seed for you. I didn't collect any yet but have to if I want it again next year, which I do. The Monarchs prefer this kind for laying their eggs on over any other kind I've tried.

I know what you mean, I'll miss the Monarchs too.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Sweet (I am sounding like my almost teenager now)! Isn't it funny how A. curassavica can vary? I planted some this spring from seedlings and they haven't gotten much past 12 inches. I really needed them to be bigger. I have been watering them a lot too. Must be the soil. Maybe I will try silky gold next year too. I just really like the red and gold combo.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:35PM
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