Fourth of July Butterflies

May Freedom Forever Fly- Happy 4th of July with Monarch Butterflies

May Freedom Forever Fly: Happy 4th of July!

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  1. Will sunlight kill Black Death spores that are suspected to be on the soil of potted milkweed?
    Will sunlight sterilize a black, screened cage?

  2. Hi Tony,
    You are one of my main resources for tips and tricks. This is my 3rd year raising. We’re up to 13!
    Here’s my question:
    We’re taking a road trip and at least one of our lates three chrysalis’s is going to emerge before we get back, so I have the cage in the car with us. Will bumps in the road dislodge them?? I have towels down the n the bottom in case. Should I be worried??

    Also, one other thing, lol. One of the chrysalis’s has a weird tint to it toward the top. Is he sick?

    P.s: we had our 3 first eggs in the suburbs of Chicago on May 23. It was a challenge because none of my plants had really grown big enough yet. We managed, but it was dicey for a bit.

  3. We live in Sussex County, NJ (the Northern part of New Jersey). We have not seen 1 monarch yet this year. I am kind of thinking we didn’t start seeing the eggs until around August. Last year we successfully raised just over 600 cats from all stages. Why are we not seeing anything yet?

  4. Hello Tony,
    IWe are losing many more caterpillars this time around. They die trying to form a chrysalis and appear to have green goo on them. Some of them look to small to form a chrysalis. Some of the ones that formed a chrysalis don’t appear to be healthy ones. Any idea what is happening?

  5. I live in Santa Clarita, CA and recently planted a large milkweed plant. A few weeks ago, I counted 18 caterpillars on it! A few days later, I could only find two, with no sign of any chrysalises anywhere. I assumed birds were eating the caterpillars so I put up flash tape around the plant to keep birds away. Now I’m not seeing as many monarchs around so I’m wondering if the flash tape is also scaring them off. Do you think that’s likely? I found your article about monarch predators yesterday and noticed several red/black bugs on the plant that may be assassin bugs. Argh!

    1. Hi Cindy, it could be birds or another predator, but hopefully the monarchs are just good at hiding their chrysalides. We’ve never used flash tape, so no idea if it would repel monarchs and/or other garden wildlife.

  6. Hi! I am in Minneapolis and me and my pre-schoold students are raising a chrysalis right now. I think it is due to hatch possibly on friday or over the weekend. I am afraid to transport the whole cage home because I don’t want the chrysalis to fall. If it hatches when we are all gone for the weekend will it be okay until we come back to school? Can I leave food/water for it to have over the weekend? Is releasing it on a very hot day ever an issue? It has been close to 90 for many days here. Thank you!

    1. Hi Liz, the butterfly can go for a couple days without food. They can be released on hot days without issue. ‘Cold’ releases are more of an issue toward the end of the season.

  7. Love it! I have not seen one monarch caterpillar on any of my milkweed. Maybe it’s a bit early for them? I am in New Hampshire. Last year I had many! I am waiting patiently for them or trying too!

    1. I am in NH too and 2 days ago my husband saw one in our neighborhood! Yay, can’t wait to see more!

  8. Wow – time warp? All these posts from July 3 & 4 🙂 Seems at best it might be July 1 on the other side of the planet – but 4th?

  9. 6/30/18. I hope I see more monarchs but I think it’s over for me until the fall migration. I live in Marietta, GA (NW of Atlanta). First generation I released 40 monarchs beginning May 17th thru May 20th. There were 17 males & 23 females. This generation stuck around & gave me 41 monarchs (2nd generation). I released those beginning June 19th thru June 25th. There were 24 males & 17 females. These guys didn’t stick around to give me more eggs.☹️ In the meantime I can make sure my milkweed is in better condition than last fall.

  10. Tony,
    Happy 4th to all of you Northerners. Since I am reading how many people have not seen Monarchs, I was wondering if I have helped or actually hurt the Monarch Migration since I am in Southern California and have tons of tropical Milkweed which the Monarchs just won’t leave alone long enough for me to plant. I started with 3 potted plants brought home from the nursery because I wanted to make a butterfly garden and 3 days later we had eggs on them. Had to buy a small greenhouse to protect them after reading all about them on your website and we released 49 healthy Monarchs the beginning of June . We only lost 1 butterfly and 2 chrysalis.

    1. Hi Karyn, happy 4th to you too! The monarchs in your region migrate to coastal California in the winter. Tropical milkweed can be beneficial if precautions are taken so that OE spores and other pathogens don’t don’t build up on the continuous growing plants:

      Growing Tropical Milkweed

  11. Wish I could share some of my Caterpillars, Chrysalis and Butterflies with all of you. We have release 20 this past month and are headed toward 30 more between now and mid July. These are he ones on our lanai many others are in the wild. I have a group of home owners planting milkweed and the entire neighborhood is raving about the beautiful Monarches. I have added dill, fennel and parsley and the swallowtails have arrived, added a cassia tree and along come white and yellow sulfur’s and Passion flowers brought forth the Fritillaries. Have to let my milkweed replenish itself so not collecting any more eggs right now. Will clean up and leave them all on their own for awhile. It is a beautiful and peace filled experience. I lost my son in February and this project has been one of healing.

  12. No butterflies sighted in our garden in NW Arkansas! Is this normal? We have lots of milkweed.

    1. Hi CS, the bulk of the population is further north, but with a good summer season, you’ll hopefully have a good number coming through for the fall migration in September. You can still get monarch activity in the summer…good luck!

  13. Beautiful design Happy 4th you. Read both volumes of the books what a wealth of Monarch knowledge. Where may I order a kritter keeper? I now feel more comfortable with bringing in the eggs I had only 5/10 survive first attempt. I over watered, etc. I’m looking forward to future successful emergence and releases. To date we have had 4 males and 3 females.?

  14. Had lots of black swallowtail caterpillars I’m May. Saw many butterflies. Sadly now, NONE for a long time. An occasional white cabbage one. Other than that, not a one. This is Manville, NJ. I have read they are stepping up mosquito control in this state. I I wish they would inform the public that it kills just about all bugs, not just mosquitos. If you ask me, that is not control. It’s massacre! Same on garden supply containers. They tell you the pesky bugs the stuff kills. Not a word about the beneficial ones it kills. And it makes me crazy when I see caterpillars listed! People don’t realize every caterpillar is either a butterfly or a moth! We need mass education about these things!

  15. Hi Tony, I hope you don’t mind but I would like to use this for my profile pic on facebook for the next few days. Beautiful!!

  16. Hi, Tony,
    The “patriotic” butterflies are beautiful! The last of our first-generation monarchs have been gone now for four weeks (as of last Friday). But the sweet little crippled monarch is still cookin’ in her big cage. So cute: this morning she was just sitting on the floor looking kind of sad. I put in a cotton ball soaked in peach juice, sort of nudged her toward it, and she jumped on, immediately began to eat! I love this little creature. She emerged from her chrysalis on June 1st … so she’s been around awhile.
    Happy Fourth,
    Pam Selbert

    1. Hi Marilynn, the northern migration has ended. Now, we’re just waiting for the population to grow…you could see them at any time. good luck!

  17. Beautiful Tony! Thanks.
    Lots of Monarchs, and Swallowtails in my New Orleans butterfly garden! My milkweed is thriving, I have it in pots; large and small. The seeds drop and more plants are coming up thru the gravel.

    1. I purchased some milkweed seeds on line. They did not sprout. I have never seen milkweed in the big box stores. I really wanted to grow milkweed for the butterflies. I was wondering if you have any suggestions since yours is doing so well?

      1. Hi Kim, big box stores are not where I’d recommend looking for milkweed plants because many buy from growers who use pesticides. Check out these pesticide-free nurseries that will ship to your door, both plants and seeds:

        Suggested Milkweed Stores

  18. I’ve a question concerning milk weed,
    My spouse tells me there is a species for milkweed that has become taboo for the butterfly garden. Is this the case and if so, which one?

    Thanks so much

  19. Hello, I live in northern CA, so far I have only seen one Monarch, this yr I have lots of milkweed but I’m worried the season will pass without getting any cattipillars to enjoy it? Any ideas about where they are?

  20. So Love the beautiful design!
    Gorgeous butterflies, Tony
    Happy 4th ! And thank you for all you do for all of us,

  21. Dear Tony
    Always enjoy your butterfly page.
    I live in southern Indiana, have not seen any butterflys around here.???
    Could it be the farmers spraying.?
    We had some very heavy rains and my milkweed did not make it, I’m sick about it.

    1. Hi Donna, I always worry about spraying when people aren’t seeing butterflies, but it’s still early. I’m hoping there are lots of sightings in the next couple weeks as the second generation mates and starts laying eggs…

    1. Hi Mary, I’m glad you like the fourth of July butterflies. I will post if it becomes available, but right now it’s only posted on this page…

  22. Beautiful Design and words! Wish it were a t-shirt,or flag, I would use it on the 4th!! Thank you! Happy 4th!

  23. Thank you for posting!
    Fritillary in our flower garden and milkweed plants; hoping for monarchs on the Fourth!

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