Mmmmm…. Milkweed

September 4, 2009 1 Comment

The last several days I have been going out to my Sven rose

 

This has a small bloom, but a lot of them.  And it keeps producing!

This has a small bloom, but a lot of them. And it keeps producing!

and picking off Japanese Beetles.  Every time I go out there, I pick at least one off.  And, happily, squish it.  As I was doing that this morning, I was also looking at my Butterfly Weed (it sits right next to the rose bush) and did my daily head count of our Monarch caterpillars.  It changes every day, but there were at least five there this morning.

There goes another leaf.

There goes another leaf.

He's on the underside of one of Sven's leaves.

He's on the underside of one of Sven's leaves.

 

And yet another one....

And yet another one....

 

After I walked away and went to work on something else, I got to thinking….  why do I want to kill something that is eating my plants:

 

The dreaded Japanese Beetle, right before I squished him... or her.

The dreaded Japanese Beetle, right before I squished him... or her.

and, yet, I let something that is eating my plants live? 

Another leaf down the gullet.

Another leaf down the gullet.

And I’m excited about having them eat my plants to the ground!

 

Lots of holes in the leaves that are left.

Lots of holes in the leaves that are left.

It sounds like something isn’t quite right in my reasoning.  Of course, any gardener will agree that Japanese Beetles just eat to eat.  They don’t do anything magical like going from a very small caterpillar to a large caterpillar to a chrysalis to a beautiful butterfly… all within the space of a few weeks.   And that takes energy, so they have to eat something, right?

Here are three on the nursery.

Here are three on the nursery.

 

The “nurseries” for my Monarch caterpillars are also home to aphids this year. 

 

These little critters are all over the Butterfly Weed.

These little critters are all over the Butterfly Weed.

And there are a lot of them.  Unfortunately, I don’t want to spray them with anything because they are on the same plant as the caterpillars… and sometimes on the same leaf. 

 

Aphids covering the top of the plant the Monarch caterpillar is working on eating.

Aphids covering the top of the plant the Monarch caterpillar is working on eating.

I guess I will just have to hope that the lady bugs show up soon to take care of my nursery!

 

Dig it!

Filed in: General, Photos

About the Author:

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. mary lou cosselman says:

    I have a bittersweet bush that I started 4 years ago, I now have berries and don’t know what to do with it. Will the plant dies for winter and the berries just dry themselves or do I need to do something with it , do you have any ideas for me?

Leave a Reply