HELP – starving caterpillars Tokoroa

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  • #58229


    Hi everyone. We have a small butterfly garden at our Early Learning Centre. ( away from the children’s access) but over the long weekend its been completely striped. There are a heap of caterpillars of all stages can we feed them something that will still allow full development? There are no swan plants available in stores where we are.

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  • #58267


    Hi Kent – just a word of warning. They may eat pumpkin, cucumber and other members of the cucurbit family but quite often the butterflies are deformed.

    Also, another note… the monarch caterpillars will eat the leaves on your swan plant and then they will eat the stems, flowers and even seed pods if the plant is kept hydrated.

    Good luck!



    here in Rotorua, Palmers Nursery still have a lot of Swan Plants. I discovered today that the larger caterpillars like cucumber.Tomoro I’m going to try them with Pumpkin & Rock Melon.I have 30 Swan Plants and they are being stripped! I’ve kept a few large plants away from Butterflies laying their eggs…I have a Butterfly House which isn’t large enough and now I’m bringing plants into the house, just so, I don’t have any more eggs because i have caterpillars to Africa lol



    check that out. Hopefully someone in your area can help. One thing you can do with the very big ones is give them cucumber or pumpkin. No good for the smaller caterpillars though. good luck. If you are in Wellington area I could take some caterpillars for you.

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