April 24, 2009

Raising Monarchs

In May look for milkweed plants. On the underneath side of a leaf you may find a tiny, yellow-green oval. That's a Monarch egg. Clip that stalk. Put the stalk in a water-filled vase and watch for the egg to hatch a few days later. Keep feeding your caterpillar milkweed leaves by changing out the milkweed stalks for new ones. When the caterpillar is almost 2 inches long, it's time for it to form its chrysalis. Try placing the vase under a small table. The milkweed leaves need to brush the bottom of the table. The caterpillar will crawl onto the bottom of the table and form its chrysalis. Once the chrysalis turns black (after 1-2 weeks), you'll know your butterfly will emerge in the next 24 hours. Once it emerges and its wings have dried (don't touch it during this phase!), you can coax it onto your hand with sugar water. Then it's time to take it outside and release it!!

If you'd like more instructions you can visit: Rearing Monarchs

Happy Spring!!

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