Sprayed plants?

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  • #13366


    Hi all

    I am new to the Monarch butterfly business. I made made my first attempt to assist their breeding last year and underestimated their food requirements. This year I was more organised and had back up plants ready to go. Last week I had 20 mostly large and all healthy caterpillars stripping through my plants at a great rate of knots. Thursday night I went to The Warehouse (Northlands, Christchurch) to buy new plants as I had just about run out again. They stripped one in one day and the next day (Saturday)moved onto plant 2 and started dying – first the smaller ones and then the larger ones. By yesterday (Sunday) they were pretty much all dead or close to it. I can’t see any other explanation other than that one or both of the plants I purchased had been sprayed. I have contacted The Warehouse to find out what the story is, but I just wondered if there could be another explanation I’m unaware of? It’s terribly disappointing when some of them were so close to going into chysalis. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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  • #19107


    Glad Vicky chimed in here, as she is a real source of info. Sprays are something Ive been increasingly concerned about where I live and I’ve had a relatively recent incident where because Ive stood my ground about it, its gone down like a lead balloon with the person concerned. Even though Ive been informed of the appropriate action I should take, the actual carrying it out WONT SCORE YOU ANY POPULARITY POINTS …(ah well)

    FWIW in the rural community, within certain parameters, IF you ask for a spray plan the neighbour MUST supply you with one.

    Hope you are able to get some ‘pillars going again soon Kimm as Im sure you’ll feel great when you see some nice healthy ones again.

    All the best



    Hi Kimm

    I agree with Swansong – definitely spray. How awful for you! I had a horrible experience of my own last year where the caterpillars pupated, but all the butterflies died. After laboratory testing on both the butterflies and the plants, there were 6 pesticides detected on the plants. Since then I’ve been on a bit of a crusade. The Warehouse buy plants in, and often it is the supplier who use the spray. They call it a “one day” spray, to keep butterflies off while plants are transported. That’s a load of rubbish! I’ve had this “one day spray” on plants before and I always keep plants for a week, and hose them everyday, before I feed them and it certainly lasted longer than that. It could also have been overspray from spraying other plants. I may be out that way later in the week so I will call into the Warehouse and try and get some answers.

    There are no real guarantees around plants – only that plants are labelled correctly. After ringing a lot of people for advice, it still seems to be a case of “buyer beware” which is not good enough.

    What did The Warehouse say to you when you rang?



    Hi Kimm,

    VERY sorry to hear of your disappointment and your disaster with your ‘pillars. That can be so disheartening. It sounds very much like spray to me, and if it is theres not a lot you can do. Unfortunately this is what’s happening, and I guess we have to be very careful when we buy our plants in unless we know the source. As I grow my own plants from seed that just pops up from year to year, Im not sure what’s recommended stand down time before you put pillars on these bought in plants, even with hosing them 1st. My mum just told me this morning of a similar incident.


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