First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America

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Raising Monarch Butterflies

Posted by First Czech Garden Club on January 17, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Bob Erlich spoke at our January meeting about how to raise Monarch Butterflies.  He got interested in this hobby when he accidently brought home some caterpillars one day.  Since then he has been touring the area trying to get people interested in joining him.  You can set up a Monarch Way Station if you are not interested in actually raising butterfiles.  Bob and three other people raised and released over 500 butterflies last year. 


To attract butterflies you need to grow the right plants. Monarchs lay their eggs on Milkweed.  The common milkweed grows everywhere, is easy to care for (you don't have to do anything), and is highly evasive.  The butterflies perfer the Tropical (Red) Milkweed better.  Bob passed out seeds at the meeting.  Other plants that the Monarchs like to eat are Mexican Sunflower, Butterfly Bush, Purple Cone Flower, Blazing Star, Black Eyed Susan, and the Shasta Daisy.

Bob showed us how to raise Monarchs.  He spends over 4 hours a day on his "Hobby".  It takes about 30 days for the butterflies to mature.  Left alone about 5% of the eggs become butterflies.  Raising them, Bob has increased this percentage to about 60%.  He has several aquariums set up holding the butterflies that are in their varius stages of development.  The pictures he showed of his "farm" were quite facinating.


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Categories: Meeting Speakers

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