Eggs already?

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    Topic
  • #48771

    caroldee
    Participant

    Hi there

    It has been a lovely day in Hawkes Bay today and I have had at least 4 monarchs enjoying feeding off my (only) winter flowering bush.
    I think they winter over at the park down the road but on a nice winters day I can guarantee seeing at least one or two feeding from this bush.
    But I have now noticed HEAPS of eggs have been laid on my swan plants. They are last years swan plants so pretty spindly still at this stage, I am hoping they will bush out come spring/summer. I’ve left them out of my butterfly house because they will get a lot more sun/warmth/rain outside at this time of year.
    Are these eggs likely to hatch?
    I’m just worried I won’t be able to keep up with their food requirements this early in the season!
    Thanks Carol

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #48864

    vivhig
    Participant

    Have seen Monarchs in our garden for several months, but not laying eggs, However, have just checked a plant and there are 3 or 4 eggs, so things are starting to happen!! Oh! I’m in Sth Akld.

    #48845

    LeslieD
    Participant

    Hi Caryl, I am in karori, I think I contacted you end of last season when I was trying to home a ravening hoard lol. I had about 30 big cats and a small army of littlies, the result of my going away a couple of weeks and leaving the plants uncovered. Last year was my first year with monarchs, it was unplanned and I had a big learning experience. There were some disasters and a few triumphs and this year I hope to do better. So, in answer to your question I don’t know if the eggs will be fertile or not, but their mother was very busy laying :).

    #48843

    Caryl
    Moderator

    Hi Lesley D, I am Caryl and I live in Wellington. I am in Melbourne right now until 19 September. I usually have eggs the first week in September so am looking forward to finding them on my return. I do find that many early eggs are infertile. Do you notice that? Warm regards, Caryl
    PS I am in Seatoun. Where are you?

    #48842

    LeslieD
    Participant

    lovely day in Welly. Plan WAS to organize the swan plants so I only had some hardy well recovered ones out for the butterflies, but I was a bit late. One big butterfly spent several hours hanging round and laying eggs. So I’ve since covered some plants I think she missed so I can hopefully manage the hoards this year unlike last year. Looks like a very early start :). i’m hoping the butterfly was one of the ones that hatched here last autumn, I imagine they know where they come from?

    #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 🙂

    #48792

    Black Robin
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui I think the fertiliser that you are refering to is : Nita fosca blue or something like that. Personally, I use blood and bone but scratch it well into the soil as the blackbirds tend to dig around and feed on it.
    Black Robin

    #48791

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Well I know a grower who uses a bought product called something like Nitr-K-phos… can’t remember exactly – it has little blue balls of fertiliser. Nitr-phos-K? But I just tend to use my own home-made compost.

    What do other people use? C’mon… speak up!

    #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

    #48783

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Carol

    Yes, the eggs may hatch. I collected some a few days ago and I am waiting to see if they’re viable.

    Suggest pruning some of your swan plants to get rid of the spindy growth and feeding them well to encourage more growth.

    We have some great plants (about 2m tall, some of them) available for sale in Auckland and Hamilton – if you know of anyone going to Hamilton that could pick them up. Not sure if that’s any help, though. 🙂

    If the eggs do hatch, post on here in a new thread (or ouf FB page if you use it) that you have caterpillars to share. Possibly some of our other members would be interested.

    Jacqui

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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