Too cold?

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  • #34471

    Tracy de Leeuw

    I have four chrysalis on a swan plant and one on a venetion blind inside my laundry area and am so scared it is too cold out for the butterflys …..HELP !!!

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  • #34475


    I have changed the subject to “Too cold” as I am getting lots of emails and phone calls – from all parts of NZ – like this.

    Firstly, Monarchs (and other wildlife) have been enduring winter weather for millions of years. While we (humans) would not enjoy being out of doors, it’s natural to them. When we bring them indoors, this is not natural. If a wild creature – or even domesticated farm animal – lived in a room as we have it it would sense that it was midsummer and would behave accordingly. The Monarch for example would want to find summer blooms and nectar, and find a mate and breed.

    So the best thing you can do is demonstrate to the Monarch that it is not midsummer and to do this put it somewhere cool and dark without the wind and wet. I put mine into a cardboard box and put them in the bottom of a wardrobe. It will be fine there for a few days. As soon as an opportunity comes along where I can take it outdoors I will leave it somewhere where it will be exposed to the outdoors but will get maximum shelter from wind and wet. It might be on a tree on the sheltered side of the house, or under the eaves of an open garage, or under a porch… or even in a public building in a park such as a bandstand or public toilet. Out of the wind, out of the rain but where it will get any possible daylight or sunlight that does happen that day. It will be fine.

    If it is strong enough it will survive. The strongest specimens are the ones that will survive the winter and come back to our gardens to start the new species in the spring.

    Remember that death is a part of life. A female Monarch will lay something like 300 or 400 eggs – one laid over 1,000 – and if they all were to survive we would have a plague of Monarchs by the end of the summer. Some are meant to be hosts for other species, to be prey, to be detritus or whatever.

    I hope that explains it satisfactorily.



    I hope that helps.

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