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  • #12859


    Hi all

    I’ve been asked how I raise Monarchs in my greenhouse. You can do this with any protected space – protected from the many pests that like to get at Monarchs.

    I go around our neighbourhood looking for eggs or first instar caterpillars. I usually remove the whole leaf from the plant. These are plants that are growing beside the road or in public areas, wasteland etc where there are wasps. Or I have rescued them from plants that are on their way to the dump.

    Now the next bit is my secret, my invention…

    I take an eggcup and a length of corrugated card from an old, brown carton. I cut off a strip about 40cm long and about 4cm wide. I roll up the strip and stick it into the eggcup. Then I soak it well.

    The little holes that are exposed make ideal holders for my leaves. If the egg (Monarch egg, not hen’s egg!) is laid at the very bottom, I can just ensure the tip of the stem is in the water.

    After a few days, when I notice lots of frass (poop) around the eggcup, it’s time to move the whole arrangement to a milkweed plant in my greenhouse, and let the caterpillars crawl off. In about a week, I can remove what’s left of the dead leaves and use the eggcup again.

    Hope this is of use to others.


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