Sunday Miscellany, With Strippers!

Sunday photo blueup4_zps7a543c85.jpg Before:
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I bought a Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) plant recently, and thought perhaps eventually, maybe next year, I'd see a Monarch butterfly.  I was wrong.  I saw all too many within days.  If you plant it, they will come.  
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The butterflies will come, and leave children behind.  Lots of hungry children.  My first plant was stripped of all foliage within a couple of days, and I suddenly had a lot of Monarch children and no food for them.  I ran out for another plant.  Stripped.  And another.  Stripped.  Now another, and that will be leafless tomorrow. 
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I had no idea they'd eat so much so fast.  At $8 a plant, one plant per day, offering forage for a threatened species gets expensive.  Oh well, now I know:  plant a package of Asclepias seeds at some other time of the year to be prepared for a summer invasion.  I had no idea my plants would be instantly mobbed.  The plants wiggle at times from the caterpillars yanking at them.  They are surprisingly piggy. 

In other garden activity,  the small side flower stem of 'Blue Glow' has apparently formed some seed pods.  I gave the flowers on that stem several rounds of Manfreda pollen--did I get any crosses?  The pods should be ripe soon. 
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While I considered the idea of a 'Blue Glow'/Mangave hybrid ('Blue Man Groovy'?),  Mama California Towhee gave Baby (on the right) a snack:
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Crassula perfoliata var minor (aka C. falcata) prepared to bloom:
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The Crinodendron hookerianum is improving and has produced a few flowers.  I got it last June and it seemed unhappy over our dry summer.  I moved it next to the pond, where the humidity is higher, and allowed Geranium madierense seedlings to grow around its pot, in hopes of further increasing the humidity.  It has put out new foliage and some flowers, so perhaps I'm on the right track.  Many plants like community.  Some people are like that, too. 
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This white lily ('Costa Mesa') is absolutely wonderful.  I'm doting on it.  
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Several of the Clematis are producing a second round of flowers:
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By now it is probably time to go get another Asclepias.  I hope for cocoons soon--perhaps then all the stripped milkweed plants will grow back some foliage.  Or so I hope.    


  1. Buying plants purely for caterpillar food, now that is dedication.

    Very exciting about the 'Blue Glow'/Mangave hybrid fingers crossed they contain viable seeds. Love the name 'Blue Man Groovy'

  2. Oh, oh, oh. A Manfreda/Blue Glow cross sounds scrumptious. I hope those pods provide as many babies as your Monarch butterflies did.

  3. I love that you were buying a plant a day!

    That's why I appreciate the swallowtails, as I can go spend $1 on parsley from the produce stand and feed them for a few days. :)

    1. Well, they would have starved otherwise. Perhaps it is silly, but I felt responsible.

  4. Uh oh. I just planted one very small asclepias.... I do hope yours will recover from the weekend mauling.

    1. Yes, watch out for butterflies! Time will tell if the plants recover. They'll need to be in bloom to help feed the butterflies that emerge.

  5. You are such a good ecologist, Hoov. Not only do you know what to plant to encourage the Monarch caterpillars, but you actually run out and get more as they devour each plant in turn. You will have a special place in Monarch heaven...

    1. The garden center loves me spending all that money, that's for sure!


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