Jane

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 723 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • in reply to: Cleopus japonicus on Buddleia #40931

    Jane
    Participant

    I haven’t seen any buddleia weevil in the Manawatu yet, but confess I haven’t been looking for them either. I enjoy the buddleias here immensely and so do the butterflies and moths, however there are many other nectar plants around for butterflies moths and bees. I will welcome the weevil eventually here, as the long term plan is for the native trees to take over and shade out the buddleia. In the meantime I religiously dead-head the buddleia. I have seen what buddleia is doing to our braided riverbeds and streams. Buddleia should go and if we care much about our local biomes we will see it off. For those of us living in the urban environment it is too easy to forget what our escapees can do once they begin to enfringe on our native forests, forest margins, riverbeds and ravines.

    I’ve never seen any butterflies on kaka beak (Clianthus puniceus), Garrya elliptica (silk tassel bush) or Correa pulchella salmon. All are lovely plants though, but so different from buddleia it is hard to see any of them as substitutes for buddleia in any setting. Clianthus (Kaka beak) has fabulous flowers loved by our native birds and is host to the larvae of a leafminer moth. Garrya eliptica has a quiet oriental beauty and sheds tons of pollen which is a primary food source for many of our beneficial insects. Corrya is just lovely to look at and is hard to beat for a low hedge in a dry shaded area.

    in reply to: Painted Lady butterflies might be about #36840

    Jane
    Participant

    Wonderful Norm ūüėÄ

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #36826

    Jane
    Participant

    Good to hear you over the hump Terry. If we have OCD to thank for your long running project then OCD is a blessing. Happy New Year to you, and what a good idea to trickle your stock along towards the good weather.

    in reply to: Nettle leaves dying #36642

    Jane
    Participant

    Urtica urens does far better in the garden than in pots, and will last much longer with some shade for at least part of the day. Urtica urens has a definate season and then dies off after seeding, so a dedicated area where it can be allowed to seed around is ideal. Aim to naturalise them so that they become self perpetuating. Your nettles will also appreciate good soil and will benefit from any compost you can give them.

    in reply to: Painted Lady butterflies might be about #36641

    Jane
    Participant

    Congratulations Norm! That fantastic news. I hope you have plenty of host plants to keep them busy.

    in reply to: Nectar plants – NZ Gardener #36640

    Jane
    Participant

    I concur that the list looks to be suitable for America. Pontederia cordata and viburnum lantana are not commonly grown here and certainly wouldn’t make it onto a highly recommended short list of plants in my opinion. The other plants listed possibly would, but those two plants especially have given it away as American.

    Nola – Lilac usually resents pots due to its long root run. The long root run gives the plants resilience against both too dry and too wet a situation. In a pot lilac can be very tricky, so if possible it would do better in the ground. Also because lilac is a deciduous plant, it is best outdoors where it hardens up against the elements. In a greenhouse situation lilac can become too prone to all sorts of issues due to putting up too much lush growth which doesn’t harden up like it would outdoors in the elements. Lavenders can be ok in pots, but are also better in ground. If you are in a situation where you may have to move, you’re probably still better to plant these two species in the garden and enjoy them until you go, rather than suffer repeated losses which can break your heart and bank account too.

    in reply to: Painted Lady butterflies might be about #36073

    Jane
    Participant

    Hey that’s great news Norm. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with those eggs. Do you have plenty of Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula) around to feed the larvae, assuming of course that they are viable eggs?

    I guess if people are looking for Painted Lady, a good place to try would be looking for the eggs on areas of Capeweed.

    Painted Lady egg

    in reply to: Painted Lady butterflies might be about #36026

    Jane
    Participant

    I agree Cullen. It would be fantastic to be able to breed them. I’ve never seen one. Norm has been working on finding them with a view to breeding. Hopefully he may sign in and tell us if he’s seen any.

    It’s great you’re so interested Cullen. Keep up your keen observations.

    in reply to: Admirals – different coloured pupae #36023

    Jane
    Participant

    This topic is an interesting one for me Jacqui. I’ve often wondered why the larvae and pupae of Admirals differ so markedly. In captivity eggs from the same batch have resulted in larvae that look so different it is hard to believe they are the same species. I took close up photos of some from the same batch and at close range noticed that no two are the same!

    The larvae developed into pupae that were quite different in colour too, despite the background being the same. A number of Admiral pupate on the back wall of my house above a patch of urtica incisa, and they show differing colour variations on the same white wall. The resulting Admiral adults all seem identical.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #36022

    Jane
    Participant

    Is there any chance of raising nettle in a greenhouse? I guess you’ve already explored this avenue though Terry.

    I hope you get your larvae through the disease threats. It must be 14 years now?

    in reply to: Painted Lady butterflies might be about #36021

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Cullen,

    Sightings of either are rare, but I think you are far more likely to see a Painted lady. They are blown across the tasman on westerly winds, I have only seen one in my life and that was recently.

    Forest Ringlets are endangered, confined to small pockets of highland habitat, fly for only a couple of months in a year, and even those who seek to find them in order to study or breed them have difficulties in locating them. They are now endangered.

    Keep your eyes peeled! Only those who look see anything

    in reply to: any good plants anywhere? urgent! #36001

    Jane
    Participant

    I’m afraid I didn’t ask the source. I didn’t intend to buy any but at that price I couldn’t resist a few. They had racks of them on Sunday. Bunnings Wellington stores probably have them from the same source as a bulk purchase. It would be worth asking your local store. The plants were branched very low, with no sign of pinching out the apical shoot. I wondered if they had used gibberelic acid (a natural plant hormone responsible for branching) to initiate branching early. Plants are around 20-30cm in height with 5-6 branches. At 82c per plant I didn’t ask any questions at all!

    in reply to: Cover photo for the Summer magazine #35997

    Jane
    Participant

    How about a photo of a Copper butterfly? That’s my pick for the summer issue!

    in reply to: any good plants anywhere? urgent! #35996

    Jane
    Participant

    I brought multi stemmed plants from Bunnings Palmerston North this week for 80c a plant! No idea if they have spray residue or not, but I’m not currently looking for food for caterpillars so it wasn’t an issue. The plants were just so cheap I couldn’t resist a few.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #35995

    Jane
    Participant

    Hi Terry,

    I too had no luck with the Red Admirals in captivity. They were determined to ecape and battered themselves to bits trying to get out of the castle. The Yellow Admirals were quite content in captivity and would happily pair and nectar as if they there were nothing amiss.

    I’ve been wondering how you’re getting on with the terrible storm currently sweeping through. We’re seeing pictures of the damage via our media and it looks bad. I’m hoping there’s no damage to your butterfly house?


    Jane
    Participant

    I agree with you too Cullen. It isn’t the butterflies fault.

    My way of trying to avoid a plague of white butterflies on my brassica is to grown brassica plants mostly outside of the lifecycle of the whites (ie) April to october. I do start the plants early in late feb-march and have to be prepared to take caterpillars off by hand for a few weeks. I do dread to Large White butterfly though because the larvae can completely skeletonise a cabbage due to the concentration of eggs laid. Unlike the small cabbage white which lays its eggs individually and over a larger area, rather than in concentrated batches. The damage from the smaller white is seems more superficial.

    in reply to: Painted Lady butterflies might be about #35867

    Jane
    Participant

    After seeing the Painted Lady on Sunday we kept an eye out for more and saw none, but there will likely be others about. Since then we have been hammered by a freezing blast of icy winds and have seen no butterflies at all. I will be watching closely for some here in Palmerston North, and will have a keen watcher looking out in Waikanae when the weather warms sufficiently again.

    I do hope some others will be seen around the country.

    in reply to: Painted Lady butterflies might be about #35849

    Jane
    Participant

    On Sunday 13 October I made a positive sighting of a Painted Lady butterfly in a garden in Waikanae. It was really exciting to see and I knew immediately it was something different. Much smaller than a monarch, paler than an admiral, larger than a copper! It flew around and was hard to ID until it landed on a flower nearby and left no doubt with it’s distinctive markings. We think it must have blown over from OZ on recent strong westerlies.

    in reply to: What's your recommended plant or plants? #35813

    Jane
    Participant

    Argyranthemum daisies or federation daisies are very easy from cuttings and tend to flower here (Palmerston North) all winter. On fine days there the butterflies hang around these. Most neighborhoods have heaps of them and if you ask for a cutting ot two most people are very obliging.
    Sunflowers – couldn’t be easier from seed and not expensive for a packet.
    Asters – easy as!

    I have grown Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium) here and although the butterflies love it, it does self seed easily and is a listed weed in most parts of NZ, so please don’t. If you have butterflies around they WILL nectar on something else.

    Remember too that if you have some host plants for the caterpillars, the resulting butterflies will nectar on all kinds of common weeds including dandelions and the bellis daisies in your lawn

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #35812

    Jane
    Participant

    I was interested to read that your fridge batch had hatched. I was initially surprised, but on reflection most fridges run at 4degC, and there are Yellow Admiral caterpillars chewing in their nettle-tents outdoors here in winter. We get cold temps overnight sometimes reaching below zero. I guess the tents structures the larvae build protect them from freezing to some extent.

    Good to hear you have another tool to manage your project. I use the fridge to manage bulbs and seeds, but had never thought to use it for eggs or larvae.

    in reply to: Update on Large White Butterfly #35650

    Jane
    Participant

    There is an article in the New Zealand Gardener September 2013 page 56 entitled ‘Great White Threat’
    Good pictures of eggs, larvae and adult, plus a good comparative Large white next to Small white.
    VERY annoying that the misnomer Great White persists though, but interesting little story about UK born Peter Sears who recogised the damaged skeletonised leaves on his cauliflowers.

    With DOC having searched over 18,000 properties, it sounds like an expensive exercise. The article suggest that the spread is isolated currently to 12square kms.

    I’ve been religiously checking all my brassica and nasturium crops here in Palmerston North. I thought once that I had seen a cluster of the eggs, so took them off and burnt them. In retrospect I should have kept them in a jar to see what developed. My solution to avoid cabbage white infestations used to be, not growing brassica in summer, but I have Nasturtiums at that time of year so will continue to be vigilant.

    in reply to: Terry's Admiral Project in Britain update? #35649

    Jane
    Participant

    Great to see your project still going so strong Terry. Just as well you are so vigilant, and get onto threats so rapidly. What will you do about the parasitic tachinid fly larvae that are posing such a threat this season?

    in reply to: Pride of Barbados, nectar plant #34877

    Jane
    Participant

    I’ve not seen it in NZ

    in reply to: When to prune swan plant? #34578

    Jane
    Participant

    I empathise with your situation. Plants cost a great deal of money. I think it is impossible to grow enough plants, because if you had thousands of them…..they would all be eaten to sticks.

    I have let my plants seed around the place, and unfortunately, they seem to always come up in annoying places and thrive there! I try to move a few to places where they suit ME. However the happiest ones are always in the middle of the vegetable garden where they are a perpetual nuisance! I have found it very useful to plant some on the shadier side of the property where they are slower to colonise with caterpillars and therefore do not get stripped so soon. Caterpillars can then be moved across the garden to complete their growth. This all turns to custard as the season ends, but by that stage there have been at least four generations.

    Seeds sometimes take ages, and often when I have given up on them and they are discarded into a corner in disgust…….presto,¬† seedlings then appear.

    It sounds to me like you are doing everything you can!


    Jane
    Participant

    Whilst I am an avid gardener and have grown honeysuckle once or twice over the years, BUT, I would sacrifice all honeysuckles and be happy to never again grow any plant if I thought that it posed a major threat to our NZ native habit.

    I briefly¬†perused the links and research , but did not have time to look over¬†ALL the research. I am naturally suspicious about the introduction of any species for control of another, especially where I’m unsure of the research. I had a brief look at it, and¬†as an example one study was carried between Nov2004 and Apr 2005. This isn’t a long time for a study, and whilst I realise the issue of spreading honeysuckle is important and pressing, never forget the the stoat was introduced to control the rabbit, and wasn’t even interested in rabbits whilst there were flightless birds on the menu.

    I’m ambivalent on the¬†introduction on this butterfly until I have read more research

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 723 total)