Rough season in Auckland

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  • #58065


    I’m pretty gutted this year. Grew 30 or so plants from seed over winter, they were 1m tall each growing indoors and planted in spring. My plants took to replanting fine and all grew like crazy. We went away for Christmas with a few nymphs just hatched and many (20+) more to come. When we came back I found maybe 5 caterpillars and several paper wasp nests across our back fence. They’d been regularly picking off and eating caterpillars.

    I destroyed the wasp nests and many wasps, just in time for the massive winds over the past few days to murder what few small caterpillars I had. I think I’m down to 3 (found a couple in the grass), and they’re not more than a few days old.

    Super stink. I’m still getting several butterflies a day (I had well over 100 hatch last year), so hopefully I can end the wasp pest, and the weather plays the game and I end up with a few away over late summer.

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  • #58071


    Mikegjeff – I have just received ANOTHER email from someone I told to throw an old curtain, mosquito net or whatever over their swan plant. It does not need to be perfect – ANYTHING will add interference and make it harder for wasps to get in there and harvest the caterpillars. The monarchs lay eggs quite often on the net… and the tiny caterpillars crawl through. Also, next year, plant your plants close to other plants (other swan plants or the tall cosmos and zinnias) so that the foliage is denser, once again adding interference and complicating the flight path for the wasps.

    Good luck! Hope this helps.



    Its not great in a few places. Been sod all happening in parts of Wellington and a lot of damage done to what has started by winds and cold days. Very poor season for me so far. I’ve had immigrant caterpillars I’ve raised under cover but the butterflies I released have not returned. But I have huge beautiful plants lol. Other insect life seems at a minimum too. I’m hoping for better things as I’m sure you are. good luck!

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