Butterfly Gardening Class information

patriceinil
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

Butterfly Gardening Class information

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I really enjoyed this class and will be starting a butterfly garden next to my vegetable garden since it appears that milkweed has already started itself there a year or two ago.

The first thing the master gardener said was that an adult butterfly weighs the same as a large metal paperclip. She went on to say that people think a single monarch flies back and forth from the US to Mexico to overwinter. That is untrue, they only live about 30 days. What actually happens is they will start their journey back from Mexico and lay eggs on plants in the southern states. Those eggs mature and hatch into the 2nd generation of butterflies that then fly north and lay eggs up here. Those then hatch and start their trip back south for the winter, they are 3rd generation. They lay their eggs in the south and die off. The eggs that hatch are the 4th generation that fly to Mexico and over winter and start the cycle over again.

There is a website that has information about joining a group to tag & monitor the monarch population as it migrates. This lady said it's 1 in a million to have a butterfly from up here make it back to areas near Mexico and she had 5 of hers make it down into Texas last year. The tags that you apply to the wing give the website & their ID # on it so they can be recorded when they are found. It was very interesting to hear about how they are tracking and recording the butterflies.

There are several types of milkweed, an annual and a perennial variety and a fast growing noxious weed type. They all grow from a tap root type system and can be very difficult to get rid of if you decide down the road that you no longer want to keep growing it.

She also showed a picture of a birdbath filled with packed sand and a layer of small pebbles to which a small amount of water was added. It is so the butterflies can get salt into their diet. It beat the alternative of where many land to get salt which is animal poop. She said the water level must stay very shallow as butterflies cannot tolerate getting wet or they won't be able to fly and will become prey for the birds.

The next thing she said was if you don't want bees in your yard DO NOT plant a butterfly garden. The bees will come to the flowers that draw in the butterflies as will other insects.

Oh she mentioned those butterfly houses that you see popping up for sale. She said don't waste your money as they will not go into them but wasps will and you realky don't want to encourage them to take up residence in your yard.

The milkweed is the host plant for the monarchs to lay their eggs on but the adult butterflies need nectar producing plants for their energy. The nectar producers are saucer shaped flowers like daisies, coneflowers, etc. They will feed from any nectar producer but prefer saucer shaped ones as they are easier to land on.

patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Butterfly Gardening Class information

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Butterfly Gardening Class information

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Butterfly Gardening Class information

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Butterfly Gardening Class information

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

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patriceinil
Posts: 19713
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:49 pm
Location: Illinois

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