Winter cats

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  • #51000


    I was amazed to see so many cats on my swan plants today 10th July, is this normal, I have never ever seen them in the winter before. I live in Hamilton, There must be 10 at least.I was just checking on the plants to see if they should be transplanted as they have grown from seed and bunched up too much. I presume you CAN transplant swan plants??
    much thanks

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  • #51160


    I am finding babies as well. I have been having regular visits from a few butterflies. I have been hunting for prayingmantis, as i think they must be getting some of the caterpillars. I have around 15 caterpillars on plants. I have them all under frost cloth, so the plants are doing well. I transplant my swan plants from pots into the garden, some i have moved to other parts as well, i have never had any die from moving them. A few have died from the bad weather though.



    Still getting new small cats August,but not sure where the big fellas have gone to.
    Two weeks ago there were 15 cats,but now there are only 6 small fairly new babies.
    We have had a couple of minus degree frosts and they have survived.
    I have put up some shadecloth now to help protect them but do not know whete they are crystalising.



    Thanks Jacqui,
    Yes they do get nice warm days here at the moment, but cold nights and foggy mornings.
    My main swan plants have grown to gangly and wanted to add some fresh just let some seed loose in the garden.
    I have not had any success with trimming plants as they do not seem to like it. and die off.
    OK lets see if we can produce these lil critters…



    Hi Brian

    No it’s definitely not normal for Hamilton.

    Swan plants are usually hard to transplant. However, you can take cuttings and grow them in water. Your caterpillars would do better if you could cut some of the branches off the plant(s) and put these (plus caterpillars) in a sunny and sheltered position, possibly even indoors? At this time of the year they need maximum light and maximum warmth.

    You will need to break up the bottom of the stem – I either use the secateurs to slash into the stem, so that the insides of the stem is exposed to water, or something to “bash” the bottom to soften the stem. That way it can take up more water. On occasion these cuttings will even strike roots!

    But swan plants don’t mind being “bunched up”. They should not be grown as specimen plants but rather with the foliage intermingling, it will give caterpillars in the spring and summer a chance to escape from predators and parasites, especially wasps.

    Hope that helps.

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