poplarpark

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  • in reply to: Butterflies not hatching from Chrysalis #55647

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you Jacqui. I do have other castles, so will open up a new one for the next batch. I am hatching them from eggs on leaves (on the damp paper towels and lids with holes in,,within the castle) and the caterpillars seem to do fine. I did steralise the castles at the end of last season, but will do it again once this one is emptied. Just seems odd that this batch (apart from 2 or 3) seem to all end up not hatching out properly. You get to know the length of time that the butterfly takes to hatch out,once the chrysalis colours up and the butterfly is visible inside. I did wait until day 3 for this lot, but now wonder if I should have helped them a bit earlier, maybe then they might have hatched out stronger.This pattern of not hatching,does lead me to believe it maybe a virus or similar.Many thanks for your reply..

    in reply to: Caterpillars seem to get thin then just hang and die. #52819

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you Rob. I’ve taken all advice on board. I will also spray the caterpillar castles and rinse off as instructed above. I am just leaving the rest of the pillars on the branches of large swan plant I picked and am hoping they will make it through.. fingers crossed. They are all isolated in a small area outside,by the house and to date, no more are looking skinny, or have dropped off. Two or three have turned into chrysalis, so I hope the last of them make it through. thank you again for all advice.. So helpful.

    in reply to: Caterpillars seem to get thin then just hang and die. #52803

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you for the information on the Caterpillars. I only lost 8.
    All the other ones (about 80) I’ve put back outside still on the same feed in jars, are now doing well. To date I haven’t seen any thin/flopped in-half, and I check about 3 times daily and there’s been no caterpillars dead on the ground.
    I will keep a good eye on them, but hopefully won’t have to spray with the 5% bleach. But that would be a good idea for the green house for next season. Knowing the paper wasp is not interested in the caterpillars outside gives one a certain peace of mind. But I have had to re-home a couple of praying mantis..
    Thank you for your help.. The Forum is a great way to glean and give information. Much appreciated..

    in reply to: Sooty mould, white fly, aphids #52380

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you all for the advice given.. I will be trying the suggestions put forward. I do appreciate any input and think the Forum is a wonderful idea to glean and share information..

    in reply to: Sooty mould, white fly, aphids #52362

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you so much LeslieD. Can i use this if caterpillars on the plants or does it harm them..appreciate all advice given..

    in reply to: Sooty mould, white fly, aphids #52354

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Oh thank you again, Jacqui.. I know I wrote to you last year regarding the loss of plants in the green house but I thought I was doing so well—then the WEATHER…amongst other things. I will perservere but it all happened so quickly.. I did do a pesticide spray well before the season started and that seemed to give the plants a real boost. Plus blood and bone.(or do you recommend another fertiliser that won’t taint the plants) Aaaahh the trials and tribulations of raising Monarchs.. Then this morning one flew into the house.. fluttered right above my head – did a circle of the living area and flew off out the door.. I just thought… well it’s all worth it.. gorgeous creatures…

    in reply to: Butterfly Eggs #52080

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui. Thank you so much for your in depth instructions on gathering and hatching the Monarch eggs. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. So far so good this year with the caterpillars and butterflies. Probably released about 200 so far. I gathered up the first lot of caterpillars from the host plants and put onto all new plants in the green house and initially about 12 turned black and smelled bad.. guess it was the virus disease, because I had previously scrubbed the walls and roof of the green house (it’s made from the fine green mesh) so knew the inside was all clean. I carefully removed all those that had gone black and rotten and from then on.. no problems,, just 2 butterflies with slightly deformed wings, but they flew off when released.,So I’m now getting ready for the next lot of caterpillars. I will try and gather as many eggs as I can and follow your instructions as above. I’m trying to keep on top of the yellow aphids and being very vigilant and squashing them as soon as I see any. I don’t want to lose all the plants like I did last year. Many thanks for all the work you do for the Butterflies…

    in reply to: Aphids #50088

    poplarpark
    Participant

    I really appreciate your input and help, Jacqui.. I will try to do as you suggest.. I actually hate spraying anyway, but also hate to see my huge plants dead.. I hope I can save the last dozen or so. I have a lovely lot of chrysalis hanging for the third time, so will concentrate on getting them hatched and up and away..Many thanks Jacqui..

    in reply to: Aphids #50085

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you Jacqui. Can you please tell me where I get Aphidius colemani? For next season. Yes I realise it is all too late really, but I think the very very wet weather didn’t help either..Acutally the wasp have been minimal this year which is wonderful, but the praying mantis are still on the prowl and even yesterday I killed off 3 that were on the outside plants,they had mutilated the last 4 caterpillars I had left outside.. A catch 22 isn’t it..But I guess I will start all over again with replanting for the next butterfly season. But maybe try a bit harder to keep aphids under control and also not let the plants get so high.
    (As in touching the roof of the little green house) Do the plants survive a good pruning? I am open to any advice and do thank you..and also grateful the last few caterpillars are close to moving on to chrysalis stage.. Could I do a pyrethrum spray once they are in chrysalis form? I would try to keep spray off the chrysalis – or would the general fumes harm them?

    in reply to: Sterilising caterpillar castles.. #46966

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you Jacqui..That is what I’ve been doing.. just wanted to check I was on the right track.. Still trying to find out why the caterpillars didn’t get to change to chrysalis and the smaller ones were just lethargic and didn’t eat ..some going brown and all finally dying (I euthanised them by way of the deep freeze).. I’ve grown over 150 swan plants in the greenhouse and they’ve never been sprayed.. Just with the Ocean Organics foliar concentrate.. (seaweed and herbs) when they were growing.. Its wonderful and has kept the plants so healthy… Its so mild 1 part to 100 parts of water.. I have the host plants in the garden and take the caterpillars and branches with eggs on, into castles and bring in feed as needed.. Anyway onwards and upwards.. thanks once again.

    in reply to: Sick Caterpillars #46877

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Many thanks for the advice. I am truly doing the best I can. I love the butterflies but having this happen is very disheartening. I have planted out a green house with 150 swan plants this year in anticipation of lots of caterpillars on plants outside, so now have 6 foot high plants and minimal caterpillars.. maybe its a late season..

    in reply to: Sick Caterpillars #46867

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you Norm.. I appreciate your advice..I do realise that the green showing in photo is the splitting of the skin process and not all were hanging..the otheres were on the bottom of the Castle, stiff and writhing with the green jelly like substance at the anal area. I have 3 caterpillar castles and have in the past steralised with bleach between batches of caterpillars I’ve brought in.. I try not to over crowd. I can not stand to see any creature suffering, so quietly put them in the freezer.. I have a few more caterpillars at the moment and am keeping a good eye on them.. They seem quite lethargic and although I have fresh feed for them.. they just don’t seem interested..I have had dealings with Monarchs for some 15 years at least and this is very odd. I have realeased over 100 so far this season. But I do thank you for your advice..Jill

    in reply to: Best cure for aphids #42723

    poplarpark
    Participant

    A lovely lady at the Garden Centre told me that spraying the aphids with one part milk to 2 parts water kills the aphids.. she said the lactic acid in the milk does the trick.. I just wondered if it would kill the caterpillars or not… I am going to try it on a small patch of swan plant that doesn’t have any caterpillars, but wondered if anyone else had heard of this….

    in reply to: Passion vine hoppers – ugh #42461

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Re passion vine hoppers. This may sound slightly crazy, but I put the fine chisel shaped attachment on my hand held dust buster and carefully vacuum them off the stems and leaves of the swan plants. Now that there are tiny caterpillars on the plant you have to be careful, but it is amazing how many of the critters you can suck up in 10 mins. Bonus is – that my two tiny caged quail love them.. So I empty them out in their cage.

    in reply to: Keeping wasps away from Swan Plants #42244

    poplarpark
    Participant

    A couple of weeks ago, I read a letter in the Bay of Plenty Times regarding keeping wasps away from the swan plants.. I have no idea if it works, but I want to pass on the following hint.. Tie an inflated brown paper bag to the swan plant or partially inflate a balloon and tie it to the swan plant.(At this point in time, I am trialling a white ballon) Apparently the wasp think it is another wasp nest and wont come near the plant.. If it works.. how simple would that be..

    in reply to: Caterpillars fed on Moth/Kapok Plant/not Pupating #38251

    poplarpark
    Participant

    3. photo of caterpillar unable to pupate.


    Here is the link to photos mentioned.

    in reply to: Caterpillars fed on Moth/Kapok Plant/not Pupating #38241

    poplarpark
    Participant

    I have now posted photos of the caterpillars that haven’t pupated.
    Any advice would be gratefully received.
    Thank you.

    in reply to: Caterpillars fed on Moth/Kapok Plant/not Pupating #38156

    poplarpark
    Participant

    I do thank you both for your replies and help with my problem.
    I do have photos of the poor old caterpillars. I hate to see them just hanging and not pupating. I have had monarchs for years and have always done my bit by bringing the caterpillars inside and this is the first time I have seen the problem. Ok – the odd one will hang and then stretch right out and not pupate, but this is different. Some caterpillars that I brought inside were more mature and some were smaller. My one thought is this — I had picked some mature stems of moth plant (flowers and all)which I origianlly fed to the caterpillars, but then found new little plants under the main plant. This growth was luscious and lots of very green leaves. Maybe too rich or maybe not mature enough for the caterpillars. I pick the stems – submerge under water for a day until all the aphids have gone, crush stems and keep in buckets – then put into bottles as needed for feed. Oddly it is not all the caterpillars, but over the last 4 days – I have picked off 10 that havent made it to the chrysalis stage all looking the same. They’ve managed to split the skin by their head and that’s it. I would really welcome a solution, so I can avoid it another time.

    in reply to: Can some one please help! #37903

    poplarpark
    Participant

    I too have had this happen. I tape a cotton bud (some call them Q-tips) to the side of a container (ice cream container or similar) Lay a soft cloth in the bottom of container.(in case the caterpillar falls) Very carefully hook the tail end feet into the cotton bud. Normally they hang there until they pupate. It is worth a try. Once the chrysalis has hardened – I gently glue the little black peg to the cotton bud and hang it safely to hatch into the butterfly. Best of luck.

    in reply to: Swan Plants dying #35539

    poplarpark
    Participant

    Thank you all for the help and information. I don’t think that it is over watering or too much fertiliser. I only applied the fertiliser after a lot had died. Hoping that lack of fert may have been the cause. But I have now sprayed the remaining plants with “guardall” and to date – no more have died. Maybe as you say Jacqui its something that isn’t visible to the naked eye. And yes the stems are very hollow and black looking on the inside. No “guts’ to the stalks at all.
    But thank you all anyway.

    in reply to: New pest reported! #29434

    poplarpark
    Participant

    A few years ago, just on dusk, I saw a Shining Cuckoo taking the caterpillars off a Swan Plant. It was jumping/flying up from the ground and pecking them off and eating them. It got a hurry up from me – that’s for sure. I then covered the plant with shade cloth.

Viewing 21 replies - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)