Age of swan plants

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  • #59752


    Hi everyone, just joined up and I’m looking for advice please. My swan plants are about 7 foot tall and around 3 years old. There is plenty of foliage and the stems are about 3cm in diameter so they are well established. But I have only had a handful of caterpillars each year. Do swan plants become less palatable as they get older? If this is so, I’m wondering if I should bring on some of the younger plants to replace the older plants. Thanks for any advice which is available.

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  • #59886


    Thank you for your replies everyone. I live in west Auckland and did have lots of aphids and saw wasps last year. Having said that I also had lots of pods and have seedlings sprouting all over the place now. I will look for the spring magazine article on the website and also look through the forum about how to control the pests



    Hi Karen123. – I do not believe that healthy swan plants become ‘non-attractive’ to the butterfly. You need butterflies first and no wasps second to have caterpillars that mature.
    Where do you live that you have a plant so well established?
    Did it flower and produce LOTS of pods with seeds?

    I have such a large plant here – big – alongside the house and has produced so many pods. I have been managing the pests, like Monarchs and aphids to allow it grow this way. Those pods that I have not harvested have burst and their seeds are now growing like grass..!!

    If any one wants swan seedlings in Christchurch, come visit, ‘pick your own’, so to speak. Barry P.. 0223.140.100



    There are a few Monarchs lying eggs here in Hamilton. Poor old girls are starting to look rather frayed around at the edges!
    I have some of last year’s swan plants & have cut them back – I will remove them as new ones get big enough, in the meantime I’m letting them stay so that there is something for the monarchs to lay on.



    Hi Karen and welcome!

    I would agree with what you’re thinking, Karen. In fact there’s a piece in the Spring magazine about this subject. Have you received your magazine yet?


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