Gardening with Chalet Nursery

Butterfly Garden and Monarch Habitat
August 11, 2009 By collecting eggs in early summer, Freya Wellin, Chalet's Perennial buyer was able to raise 156 caterpillars that pupated in the Monarch habitat and turned into butterflies that are mating and laying more eggs. The butterflies that are produced from the next hatch will be tagged and released during the Monarch migration to Mexico in September.

See 'Host Plants', plants that caterpillars eat. Some butterfly species only eat one type of plants. Monarchs only eat plants in the milkweed family. It is important that these plants are not treated with any insecticides or the caterpillars will not survive.

Butterflies drink from nectar producing plants for sustenance. Many different types of nectar plants attract butterflies. Chalet's butterfly garden has shrubs, perennials and annual plants.

The best butterfly gardens have both nectar plants and host plants,

Monarch details:

Monarch life cycle is 7-10 days in the larval stage, 7-10 days in the pupae stage and 4-8 weeks as a butterfly

Monarch larvae can only eat milkweed leaves. The butterflies only drink nectar.

Monarch taste with their feet.

Monarch have 10,000 eyes.

Monarch excrete a red liquid. It is not blood. It is called the meconium, made up of the leftover tissues from wing formation.

Water, water, water because we are not getting the rainfall that is needed

At 85 degrees, we should be getting 1 ½ inches of rain per week

Ideally, it would rain ½ inch on Monday, 1/2 inch on Wednesday and ½ inch on Saturday - but, we know Mother Nature does not do it that way.

Calibrate your own sprinkler system by setting out a container and timing how long it takes to fill it with ½ inch of water. Run the sprinkler for that long 3 times each week - not everyday.

Congratulations to Chalet's Jennifer Brennan on her Garden Media award from the Perennial Plant Association. The Perennial Plant Association is an international association devoted to the promotion, education and appreciation of perennial garden plants. The award recognizes individuals whose educational and promotional efforts have resulted in a heightened awareness of perennials and the perennial industry. Brennan's work with ABC7 and her educational programs at Chalet qualified her for this prestigious award.

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