caroldee

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Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 27 total)
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  • in reply to: Caterpillar pupating on vertical wall #56444

    caroldee
    Participant

    Yes, agree Jacqui and bright123 – I think once at that stage we just have to let them do their thing –
    I too have had them pupating on walls, posts, fences, corners – half the time I don’t even know they are there until they are firm chrysalises or even until they hatch but they do seem to emerge okay!

    in reply to: How do you prune a swan plant #55717

    caroldee
    Participant

    On a similar subject – for the past few years due to having virtually no garden I have grown my swan plants in pots.
    They pretty much just grow straight up and only last a year or two.
    I’ve seen some amazing bushy plants around that seem to last a few years.
    They are planted in the ground – as opposed to a pot – I’m assuming if the roots can spread out so to will the foliage?

    in reply to: National shortage of monarchs caused by wasps #55597

    caroldee
    Participant

    Like many I have been getting very few eggs, I have seen the odd wasp around though so perhaps any that are laid are being taken by them.
    I’ve got to the point where if I happen to be around to see a monarch on a swan plant I go out and check, if she’s laid an egg I’m bringing it (on the leaf) inside – so far only have three but they have all hatched and happily munching away in safety.
    Has been a bit of discussion on my neighbourly site recently about ideas for deterring wasps on swan plants and amongst the usual suggestions of citronella, mint etc one lady has put cedar wood off cuts around the base of the plants, apparently they don’t like the smell and seems to have put them off for now anyway! Worth a try perhaps for those who have access to off cuts, or even douglas fir has a similar smell.

    in reply to: Locating Chrysalis #55560

    caroldee
    Participant

    As a child (over 40 years ago) we lived in a 1960’s built house with a wooden floor and it sat up off the ground on a concrete foundation with a gap underneath with (just) enough crawl space – if you wanted to brave the damp and cobwebs. There was a little trap door for access.
    I can vividly recall one year we noticed a chrysalis hanging on the INSIDE of one of these little grates.
    This was so upsetting to my sister and I that our poor dad ended up having to crawl under virtually the length of the house to rescue it on the day it hatched!
    They sure do choose some crazy places to hang!

    in reply to: Where are they ? #53879

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi Janet I am also in Hawkes Bay with plants ready and waiting and I have not seen one monarch butterfly or eggs yet.
    Maybe it’s just going to be a late season?

    in reply to: First eggs today #53854

    caroldee
    Participant

    I’m in suburban Napier and almost embarrassed to say but I have not seen ONE monarch yet this season.
    I have three well grown swan plants siting on my patio in pots that I have tended all winter, I also have the end of last seasons plants that I bought as seedlings from Jacqui waiting in my butterfly house ready to provide additional food.
    But NO eggs.
    Anyone else in Napier noticed the lack of monarchs?
    I’m just assuming/hoping that it will be a late season!

    in reply to: Cheap swan plants, Bunnings, Tauranga #53852

    caroldee
    Participant

    Spray-free I hope?

    in reply to: Sprayed swan plants #53071

    caroldee
    Participant

    Thanks for your reply Leslie and reminding me Jacqui was selling seedlings.
    I have received a bunch today and yes all going well they should get my last stragglers through!
    As for the Palmers ones I’ll do the same as you – leave them till next season and see how they go.

    in reply to: Where have they come from? #53061

    caroldee
    Participant

    Yes Kiwilass I guess that is another possibility – very sneaky caterpillars!
    Particularly if you had quite a few plants – you may not be able to see any ‘munched off’ leaves.
    Well done with your tagging too!

    in reply to: Where have they come from? #53047

    caroldee
    Participant

    Are your plants close to or visible from the road?
    Could it be possible that someone who has run out of food has transferred them to your plants without you knowing?

    in reply to: Behaviour of female Monarchs on return #53022

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi Blake

    I think what Anna did was use a correction fluid – I know it used to be called ‘Twink’ it came in a little bottle with a brush you could get from the stationery stores to cover up written mistakes.
    She probably just dabbed a little spot on their wings to tell them apart?
    Sorry can’t help with the tagging of other native butterflies though. Good luck with your research and native butterfly raising.

    in reply to: Fewer butterflies this season #52802

    caroldee
    Participant

    I’m in Napier and I haven’t had any hatchings for probably six weeks or more.
    The season started off really well with plenty of butterflies around and I had to replenish my swan plant stocks two or three times.
    But it seemed like it was a really short season, I have just noticed a few eggs on the remnants of my swan plants this week but will see if they hatch, may need to source some more food if they do. I didn’t see the eggs being laid so don’t know where all the butterflies have gone.
    Is there any other way of completing the survey or do you have to be on facebook?

    in reply to: Newly hatched butterflies #52640

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi William

    I have seen butterflies who during their ‘maiden’ flight then drop to the ground –
    I’ve always just picked them up, put them safe on a branch in the sun then off they go when they are ready.
    I think it just takes them a while to get the full use of their wings in order to be able to stay aloft for longer. Sometimes they need a little practice!
    Sounds like you are looking after your little butterfly really well, good luck.

    in reply to: Toothless caterpillar #52320

    caroldee
    Participant

    What a wonderful ‘mum’ you are to your pillars ggh, you are certainly going to a lot of trouble to help this little one.
    Just a random thought, although I’m sure you’ve ruled this out – he wasn’t just having his little rest before shedding was he, they do stop eating for a day or two when they prepare to do this although you did mention it looked like he was still trying to eat.
    Good luck anyway and whatever happens you did your utmost for him 🙂

    in reply to: Caterpillar Enclosure #50804

    caroldee
    Participant

    That’s amazing, well done!
    Can’t believe you have so many of that size at this time of the year, you are obviously experienced breeders!
    Wish I had such well trained caterpillars too 🙂

    in reply to: Lack of pattern on my monarch's wing #49849

    caroldee
    Participant

    Oh that’s amazing, you can virtually see through it, never seen anything like that before.
    Thanks for uploading the photo Jacqui and thanks Mattie. Very interesting.

    in reply to: Lack of pattern on my monarch's wing #49814

    caroldee
    Participant

    Yay that’s great that she’s flown.
    Did you manage to get a photo?
    No doubt you will be able to recognise her if she visits your garden again!

    in reply to: Aphids galore #49339

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi zippity

    Like you my plants are continually covered in aphids. I’ve read that no matter what steps you take to get rid of them it only takes two aphids that you’ve missed to create dozens more overnight!
    Don’t know anything about Orthene but last year and again this year I have used Yates Conquerer. I probably use it a little more diluted than suggested but it does not seem to affect my eggs/pillars/chrysalis or butterflies. I’m sure more experienced monarch lovers will know more about this.
    I also get out there a couple of times a week and just ‘squash’ them. You end up with yellow fingers unless you wear a glove!
    I’m only just starting to see monarchs regularly this year, I am in Napier.
    I’m picking it is going to be another late season here, good luck in your garden, sounds like your plants are a good height 🙂

    in reply to: Fearing a poor Monarch season in Wellington #49231

    caroldee
    Participant

    Yay that’s great LesleyD, I hope it won’t be long till I get my first chrysalis too, now that I am putting my cats in the butterfly house they seem to be doing a lot better.
    I did see a brand new bright coloured monarch laying eggs on my plants that I still have outside yesterday but it’s been really windy here in Napier today so I think that puts them off flying around.

    in reply to: Fearing a poor Monarch season in Wellington #49199

    caroldee
    Participant

    Yes that makes sense – I know it was the over-wintering ones that laid the early eggs, (I’m sure I recognised some of them!) – some of which were obviously infertile and others the wasps got.
    But I haven’t seen any visiting lately, so there does seem to be a big gap here in Napier as well.
    When I go for my walk around the block there’s always one or two fluttering around me – I try and entice them to follow me home!
    But the few I have put in my house are growing so all is not lost!

    in reply to: Fearing a poor Monarch season in Wellington #49175

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi, I’m in Napier and for me the season hasn’t started off well here either.
    I had a lot of eggs laid about two months ago but I think the wasps must have gotten to them all either at egg or small pillar stage.
    And now there does not seem to be many butterflies around to lay the eggs.
    I have just found a couple of small pillars on one of my plants so I have put them and their plant in to my ‘butterfly house’.
    I found last year although I still got aphids and preying mantis in there the wasps seemed to stay out so I should have done that earlier.
    I’m still using last years plants too, they have come away a bit after I fertilized but they are not looking wonderful so I will probably look around for some decent looking new seasons plants too.
    I’m in the process of having my little yard and garden ‘renovated’ so have kind of been waiting for that to be finished before sorting out plants!

    in reply to: Eggs already? #48805

    caroldee
    Participant

    I have done a bit of research in to what fertiliser to use, I was going to use nitrophoska but this was not recommended for use in pots or containers which mine are all in.
    So I ended up using a liquid one called vegemax which despite its name is suitable for virtually everything, it has nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and trace elements in it. Sounds like something I could take myself !
    So I’ll see how that goes.
    Meantime my visiting butterfly has been back, still busy laying eggs, she is a very big girl, I am pretty sure I recognise her as one of the last ones of mine who hatched in autumn, she certainly seems to know me – keeps fluttering on to my head and playing games when I try and convince her to take a rest from laying!
    The winter must have taken it out of her a bit, her wings are not as bright but clearly she’s still attracting the boys 🙂

    in reply to: Praying mantis eats head of butterfly #48804

    caroldee
    Participant

    Eww yuck that would have been horrible to see.

    I noticed when I was outside today an awful lot of unhatched praying mantis egg cases attached to my house – this makes me more determined to ‘remove’ them before the caterpillar season, despite not feeling too comfortable with doing that.

    in reply to: Eggs already? #48790

    caroldee
    Participant

    Thanks Jacqui just a random question – is there any particular type or brand of plant food that is preferable for swanplants?
    I have pruned them but hadn’t thought to feed them just yet so many thanks for that suggestion.
    Carol

    in reply to: Viruses and pathogens #47486

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi Rebecca
    I got it from the Warehouse, it didn’t have brand name just “Greenhouse Model JXX40033-1”
    It says made of polycarbonate and aluminium.
    They don’t seem to have them for sale this year, it was one of their special email online deals!
    It’s quite flimsy, not sure I’d even risk putting it outside, it would need to be in a really sheltered spot.

    The one I now have set up outside was from Bunnings and I have had no problems with my pillars in there even if they climb and hang on the sides, roof etc.
    It is sold as a poultry house so I am thinking that because it is intended for live animals the materials are non-toxic.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 27 total)