Help save the Monarch Butterfly! One of the easiest ways to help save this butterfly is to plant Milkweed in your yard and/or Garden. This act alone increases their chances of survival greatly!
The Milkweedplant is a host plant for this Butterfly meaning, the Monarch will lay its’ eggs on this plant, after the eggs hatch the baby caterpillar (larva) will feed from this plant as it grows and finally it will go through its entire transformation into its “cocoon” (chrysalis/pupa) and then into a beautiful Monarch butterfly.
It is an awesome transformation and to have a hand and be a part of it is very rewarding. If you wish to raise these butterflies then let’s get started.
Let’s talk about some important key points that you will need to know if you decide to raise the Monarch Butterfly.
EGG STAGE is 1-5 Days. Identify and locate the eggs: you can locate the eggs on the underside of the Milkweed leaves. The Monarch butterfly does not lay eggs in clusters but rather a single egg. The egg will be small and white. See the video for more details.
CATERPILLAR STAGE is 9-16 days. Keeping the baby caterpillars (larva) safe once they have grown is very important as this is a vulnerable time for them. They need to stay Dry. I carefully remove them from the Milkweed and put them in a mesh habitat that I purchased from Amazon, you can find a habitat for under $15.
When handling the caterpillars or butterflies ALWAYS have clean and dry hands. It is best to try and refrain from touching them if possible. Only touch them when necessary.
Feeding the caterpillars is important as they will need a constant supply of fresh Milkweed (not dried out). They will also need to have their habitat cleaned daily. You will realize that they eat a poop a lot! Keeping their environment clean, dry, as well as well ventilated is very important for their health and helps to increase their chance of survival.
CHRYSALIS STAGE is 10-14 days. The caterpillars will locate a spot in the habitat to hang from and when they start to hang into a J-Shape then you will know they are approaching the (chrysalis/pupa) stage. Do not touch the chrysalis when it is newly formed as it will need time to dry.
Once the chrysalis turns black in appearance after several days it will be approaching its’ final moments before the adult butterfly emerges.
Once the new Adult butterfly emerges DO NOT TOUCH IT. Allow it to hang for at least 2-3 hours allowing its’ wings to dry.
If you notice it has fallen down from the chrysalis stage and if it is having trouble climbing up to hang upside down then you may assist it by allowing it to climb on you to relocate it.
If you assist do not touch their wings as you can damage the wings which can cause them to lose their ability to fly.
t is important to have flowers with nectar handy or make your own nectar to feed the butterfly before its’ new journey. I chose to ensure that the butterfly had the best possible chance to survive by making a homemade nectar and feeding them before I released them. If you choose this route then you will need a few items: Fresh water, 100% Real Honey, toothpick, and a bottle cap.
Homemade Nectar Recipe ratio: 1 teaspoon honey to 6 teaspoons water then mix well. See the details in the video for the feeding technique.
WASH AND DRY YOUR HANDS BEFORE HANDLING THE BUTTERFLY.
Be sure that you release the butterfly on a dry/sunny day when the conditions are favorable. If you are not able to release them within 24 hours then you will need to continue feeding them until you do. Releasing the butterfly is a wonderful and rewarding experience as you have put much love, time, and care into raising these butterflies. Releasing the Monarch Butterflies is quite easy. Just open up the door and they will come out. Or you can allow them to climb on you and fly from there.
I want to thank you in advance for taking the time and care in saving this beautiful creature called Monarch Butterly! A collective effort will help to save the Monarchs!