KathWiddowson

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  • in reply to: Now have my butterfly house!!! #29710

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    I tried so may ways to beat the wasps. I built cages quite cheaply which held up to 10 potted swan plants, which were very successful but involved too much work changing the plants daily and moving cats on to new plants.I then had a proper butterfly house constructed and its been great.The most important feature is your netting. The gaps between must be so fine to stop the tiniest of praying mantis.I had the house built to suit the size of the netting for height. Plenty of room to stand up and to be able to reach the roof. the same netting on top allows rain to get in. I have 2 shelves going around 3 sides. A good secure door and I can fit in over 200 potted swan plants. Cost was around $400 for materials and builders cost. Husband also worked with builder. Its secure to our large decking and wind has not been a problem. Happy to post photos, or email me for full details.

    in reply to: Salvia plants #27612

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    Adair Genge is the holder of the Saliva collection for the Herb Federation of NZ. Adair also has a mail order nursery with a large selection of Salvia’s and other cottage plants. Anything that grows at the bottom of NZ must be hardy. http://www.mashwoodgardens.co.nz . Kath Widdowson

    in reply to: Help for fallen pupae #27606

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    I tried many different ways to save pupa that had fallen and only had the cremaster for holding on. I use very small pieces of thick nylon folded which I buy in rolls for tying up plants in the garden. See photo.

    https://www.monarch.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/fallen-pupa.jpg

    I then clip it all together with a clothes peg. I then have a clothes line in the butterfly house where I clip all the fallen ones. It always works. Kath

    in reply to: How do frosts affect chrysalis? #27331

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    For Medusa. Ring or email me. 544 8377 I will take you to the clusters in Richmond.I still have 50 to emerge at home in my butterfly house and yes I do find them a problem once the temps drop. Everything slows up to half pace and less. I keep the chrysalis in the bathroom with the heat rail on. When a Monarch hatches I keep it inside feeding it sugar and water until we have a good bit of sunshine. Can be up to 3 days. If they have had a good harden off they can survive anything. No frosts in our part of Richmond as yet. My 621st for this season emerged today. I am doing a house survey around the public gardens area as there is nothing for them at the moment so must be getting their supply not too far away. Kath

    in reply to: Raising Monarchs continuously #27203

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    Yes it was a lot but most useful info. Thanks

    in reply to: Asclepias incarnata #27202

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    I too bought a pkt of Niche mixed swan plant seeds last year. They all grew with no trouble but very confusing to what they were so rang the company but after speaking to them learnt no more than that they were a mix of swan plants seeds. There appeared to be only 2 varieties in the pkt. One that I still have not found out what they were and the caterpillars refused to eat.An excersise not worth trying again.

    in reply to: Butterfly Houses #27183

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    I asked a year ago about butterfly houses and thanks for the replies. I now have a butterfly house similar to Verran School and its been most successful and very secure. I have released 610 Monarchs so far and still have about 80 chrysalis to hatch.Hard work? yes and many hours each day but worth the effort to see so many fly away. Growing enough plants to keep the hungry cats going is still a problem but next season is looking good.

    in reply to: Safely hatching chrysalis #26813

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    Hi Rhonda. I have a secure butterfly house which you can place your chrysalis in right away. I am in Richmond. Ring me on 544 8377. Kath

    in reply to: Asclepias incarnata (Ice Ballet, white flowered) seed. #24961

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    Hi Darren. Still a learner when it comes to seeds. If you have any left I would love even 5. I have the long thin seed head but still do not have the correct name. Would you like some of those in return.Envelope on its way. Kath Widdowson Richmond

    in reply to: Best way to capture New Monarchs for Tagging #24827

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    Hi Deborah. I am encreasing my number of Monarch caterpillers each yr. As I have so much trouble with wasps I let the wandering Butterflies lay on my base plants then move the caterpillers into secure wasp proof cages with potted swan plants.Once they complete pupate I remove the leaf they are attached to and hang it with pegs on a clothes line inside a small plant house I bought at Warehouse.It zips up and is secure. When they turn black I know within 24 hrs they will hatch and if I am going to be away from the garden during the day. They are safe until I return and undo the zip. Sounds nuts and looks crazy with a clothes line of chrysalis.But works.

    in reply to: Artificial nectar recipe #24550

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    Thanks for all that nector info. Most useful.Kath Member

    in reply to: report a pest fixed #24533

    KathWiddowson
    Participant

    I started breeding Monarchs in Richmond 3 summers ago. At first I did not have to worry about pests that killed the caterpillars as numbers were not high. Second summer I did notice them dispappering in large numbers and had to take some precautions and cover my bushes. But this last summer I was swamped with the Asian Paper wasp and noticed a lot of praying mantis trying to get into the cages. I am told the Asian paper wasp is a meat eater not nector and like a bee they can track back to a good eating area.I treid everything but you need to be as sneaky as they are to beat them. I have 4 different cages now covered in fine mash. The same as I had at the beginning but make sure there is no holes or gaps they can get into.As you know when a catterpillar goes into his chyralis he heads up and that when the wasp can pounce.His nasty fine mouth can prick through the mesh. I had to put sealed tops over the cages to protect them.I will do a box drop next summer in mailboxes in my neigbourhood.Asking they spot the wasp nests and either destroy them or ring myself to do so.I think the wasp numbers have encreased in the Nelson area.

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