Naughty, naughty pillars…

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  • #13305

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I had some trays with about 30 swan plant seedlings sitting on a shelf in my greenhouse. They were doing really well, and were about 10-15 cm tall. I thought that they were inaccessible to my caterpillars, but obviously not- they absolutely decimated them. I was wondering if there is there any chance that they will grow back?

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  • #18750

    Swansong
    Participant

    Great news cinnamon! I’m patiently waiting for my 14 chrysalii to get a move on… should see my 1st butterfly soon, B4 xmas hopefully.

    Ive just taken a look at my swannies this a.m. after a couple of days of gorgeous gentle rain, which no amount of hosing can be an adequate substitute for. The plants seem to just TAKE OFFFFF. Lovely. I’m stoked.

    Hehe glad you found your pillars : ), which is easier said than done sometimes. Great to hear that your seedlings are taking off again!, I was hoping you’d chime in on how they were going but I didnt expect to hear anything quite so soon!!!.

    Cheers
    Swansong

    #18748

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Excellent Cinnamon.

    Jacqui

    #18747

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I’ve got good news… my first butterfly of the season hatched yesterday! I’m so excited! Also, I found my missing pillars 😛 one went off wandering, and the other decided to make a J on some capsicum pepper seedlings I need to transplant. Oh well. The seedlings will just have to wait!

    Also, some of my devoured seedling started to reshoot! I’m glad the’ve come away again. Thanks for the excellent advice everyone!

    #18744

    Swansong
    Participant

    Great post flutterbys!

    “Man I was so mad and smacked him!!, he then went and flew off and got another one. Well he did not survive the next taking!!.”

    Good work : ).

    Good tips about the fermented honey and nipping the tips.

    Swansong

    #18743

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Hi Mijan,

    Great to hear you having lots of visits and releasing lots of monarchs. I had 2 hatch on the weekend, was so excitied my first 2. Have loads of eggs on plants and Mrs monarch is here everyday. On sunday when we were in the garden we had 6 monarchs around the plants, it was heaven to see and experience.

    We have just moved some of our bigger pillars into the butterfly house, as I came home yesterday and a wasp was eating one. Man I was so mad and smacked him!!, he then went and flew off and got another one. Well he did not survive the next taking!!. So when hubby came home he could see how upset I was we moved the bigger ones into the butterfly house.

    We have been doing some searching for wasp lure’s and found a few with reasonable prices, as we have tried the water, sugar and jellimeat and they dont go for it.
    Hubby has found another site and this guy swears by 50 -50 0f honey and water and let it sit for 24hrs to ferment. Apparently this is guaranteed to attract the wasps. So we are going to try this.
    Bees are not the slightest bit interested in fermenting honey, but it will attract every wasp in the vicinity. A capture rate of one wasp per minute is not unusual. A very successful design for a wasp trap (courtesy of John Chamberlain, Wiltshire bee farmer) consists of a large transparent plastic sweetie jar (free from your local sweet shop). Cut a piece of plastic waste water pipe of about 1.5 inches (35 mm) diameter and about 2 inches (50 mm) longer than the diameter of the sweetie jar. Cut 2 holes the same size as the pipe on opposite sides of the jar, about half way up the jar. This can be done with scissors. Drill 3 holes of about one third of an inch (8 mm) diameter in the plastic tube about 1 inch (25 mm) apart. The holes should be in a line but don’t drill right through to the other side. Then push the pipe through the holes in the jar with the holes facing down. Put about a pint (500 ml) of the fermenting honey mixture in the jar. The aroma will rise through the 3 holes and exit through the ends of the pipe. Wasps will easily follow the aroma and crawl down through the holes but are unable to escape. We set up one such trap yesterday evening and placed it on the roof of a hive which was under serious attack by wasps. By 10 am this morning there were more than 200 drowned wasps and not a single bee.

    My hubby nips the centers out of a few of the plants, it slows them down a little bit. But it makes them bushy. He has done this with a few of our plants and they are very bushy now.

    Cheers
    Charlotte

    #18742

    mijan
    Participant

    Hi all Monarch fans, mijan here. We are going very well with butterflies this year. We started earlier and I have released 20 beautiful Butterflies so far. I have 17 chrys.left plus two in J form, also have a dozen or so cats left from the first onslaugtht. Butterflies have been working flat stick over the last few days so the plants are well sprinkled with eggs. Our seedlings are looking good but wish we could find out how to bush them up.

    #18741

    Swansong
    Participant

    Yes, apparently some spiders can be a threat to small ‘pillars. Cant remember which ones, but of course I wouldnt put ANYTHING AT ALL past a whitetail : |. Theres some interesting piks on this Monarch Website if you care to take a look. Quite a few good shots of predators.

    I have 14 chrysalis’ which were the result of me not putting my net up soon enough. I want to get my swan plants well under way and with PLENTY of tucker so’s I dont run out. M.Monarch wont be allowed in until well into the new year. I always like to have a good supply of potted plants for finishing off the “fatso’s” inside, so “things” cant get them… which is what typically happens to me I’m afraid.

    Swansong

    #18740

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Haha, I’ve been doing roll call too… yesterday I had 6 fat pillars who have since all wandered off at once, but only 4 of them have shown up again as J’s today. Knowing them, the last 2 will pop up someplace strange 😛 Sometimes they can be such characters. Oh, I’m very excited at the moment, my first chrysalis of the season has gone clear, and should be hatching sometime soon. Yay!

    Also, are spiders much of a threat to pillars?

    #18739

    Swansong
    Participant

    “strange places where the caterpillars have pupated”

    Yup, thats why I do a “roll call” and if one is missing…well it could be anyones guess as to where it might be. Thats in the house that is. : ) . Hehehee last season one planted itself right in the middle of our doorway …WHERE THE DOOR CLOSES!!!! : / Fortunately they are easy to spot and so I said ….oh no you dont… : ).

    Swansong

    #18738

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    You should see the wonderful collection of photographs in this newsletter (December) – strange places where the caterpillars have pupated. It’s a real hoot! Should be in the mail at the weekend.

    #18736

    Swansong
    Participant

    “hehehe”

    Glad you can smile about it cinnamon, as pillars will be pillarz. : ). Anywayz, hopefully the the little stalks will shoot for you again.

    Cheers
    Swansong

    #18735

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Oh, that’s good news! most of them have about 5cm of stalk left, so it seems like they have a fair enough chance. I think it’s probably my own fault for keeping my seedlings and pillars in the same place hehehe.

    #18734

    Swansong
    Participant

    Yeah, my enclosure is about a meter wide. Not wide enough for nice bigger bushy plants without touching the netting. Just thought of something. I might tie the branches so as to bring them in a bit closer and not let them spread out so much. That should do the trick hopefully.

    Swansong

    #18733

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Cinnamon

    Yes, they should grow again. I find too that Mrs Moanrch will lay her eggs on the netting COVERING (“protecting” ha!) my milkweed, and when the eggs hatch out, off they go to the plants. Grrr. But the plants do grow back.

    Asclepias curassavica is excellent for this. I’m trying growing them thickly – almost like grass – this year, and just letting the caterpillars enjoy the fresh young shoots, and then I’ll plant the “stumps” out in clusters to grow bigger. Seems to work well. That way they’re going to get a good root on them, but lots of green, fresh growth, which is what the caterpillars thrive on.

    Jacqui

    #18732

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hi Cinnamon,

    Hehehe Naughty Naughty pillars?????? you’ve hit on my favourite subject : ).

    Ok lets see, did they “mow” them off at ground level or not far therefrom? I think the further they ate them down would be directly proportional to the degree of their chance of recovery. At least I should say rate of recovery. If you keep them watered and in not too much direct heat until they shoot a couple of leaves at least, I reckon they would spring up again. At this time of the year with the summer ahead of us, swan plants are really having good growth spurts now, at least where I am in the Manawatu.

    HTHs
    Swansong

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