Butterflies 🦋 & Brews 🍺: We have our first Monarch caterpillar! 🐛

We found a Monarch caterpillar on the Giant Milkwood of our News4JAX butterfly garden. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, FLa. – We have a Monarch caterpillar! More on that breaking garden news in a minute.

Welcome back to the Butterflies and Brews garden. With the warmer weather and a chance of showers this weekend it was time to get some of the plants in new pots. We have added two Dwarf Butterfly bushes, one pink, one white and a Firebush. I would like to thank the helpful staff at Liberty Landscape Supply on San Jose Boulevard for helping me with these.

On a side note, if you are building or adding to your own garden, they have a list of butterfly- and bee-friendly plants. The plants that we are transferring to new homes are on the bee and butterfly list.

OK, now the exciting news. While repotting the Giant Milkweed, we spotted a Monarch caterpillar grazing on the leaves. (We might have been a “little” excited about it: Watch the video of the discovery captured live on camera below)

We have our first natural caterpillar to go along with our Painted Lady caterpillars, which are growing strong. Currently, we have around 10 of the Painted Lady caterpillars that should be going into the cocoon or pupa stage soon.

The stages are:

  • Egg: Eggs are laid on plants by the adult female butterfly. These plants will then become the food for the hatching caterpillars.
  • Caterpillar: The Feeding Stage. The next stage is the larva. This is also called a caterpillar if the insect is a butterfly or a moth.
  • Pupa: The Transition Stage. When the caterpillar is fully grown and stops eating, it becomes a pupa. The pupa of butterflies is also called a chrysalis.
  • Adult: The Reproductive Stage. The adult stage is what most people think of when they think of butterflies.

To give the new plants a head start and the roots room to grow, our newest additions and the Milkweed were planted in Shultz Potting Soil Plus. This blend has fertilizers that will last around nine months.

For seven helpful tips from Richard on repotting your plants, watch the video below:

What about the brews? I have been in contact with a good friend that also happens to brew some of Jacksonville’s finest frosty malt beverages and there is something in the works for hydrating after working in the garden. I will keep you updated.


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The Morning Show forecaster, comic foil, culinary expert, home improvement expert and beer connoisseur.