Raising Monarch Butterflies

So a departure from my usual blog posts,

I have always been a fan of monarch butterflies. They are just so pretty. And a few years ago, when I started hearing news reports of their numbers dwindling, I decided to do something about it. As I often say to people I am advising/ coaching, step one is to take inventory of your power. What did I have any actual power to do about the situation? Well, I have a small deck on my apartment, I live in Massachusetts on one of the many migration paths of monarchs, so I bought a big pot, I bought some potting soil, I sent away to cheapmilkweedseeds.com, and right at the start of the pandemic in 2020 I planted some milkweed seeds for them to eat as they flew by . . . and waited.

So that spring and summer a few stubby plants came up but they did not flower, so I wrote it off as a lost cause. But then, the next year, those same stubby plants spouted little buds and actually grew into full size milkweed plants.

Sadly, only one monarch made a fleeting visit and . . . nothing. The plants did flower though, and they sprouted a bunch of seed pods, the seeds scattered with the wind, and nothing . . . So I again write it all off.

So this spring I decided to plant flowers instead. But what I did not know was, a bunch of the milkweed seeds from last year had found homes in my old potting soil (which you are suppose to change every year but what did I know), and a bunch of milkweed plants sprouted up again.

But this time . . . this time . . . a female monarch deemed them worthy and laid some eggs right out on my deck. The first inkling of this came when I started to see little chew holes in the leaves.

And now . . . and now, I am the proud poppa of at least two monarch butterfly caterpillars!

So fingers crossed that the little guys will manage to survive and turn into beautiful butterflies.

WordPress has changed its interface and I am struggling mightily to learn it but hopefully I will be posting updates as things progress!


Well two days later and I have to tell you these caterpillars grow pretty darn fast. below, a pic of the one guy . . . doubled in size in 2 days. looks like only a mattter of time before he and his sibling crawl off and build a chrysalis. I hope they make it somerwhere where i can see it and watch it hatch. well . . . we’ll see.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.