I am so exited to share that I have been growing monarch butterflies. I am a beginner and still learning a lot. I’d never thought of growing butterflies, but this spring, one of my friends visited our house and introduced me to the idea. Whenever she visits, we always walk around our garden looking at all the plants and flowers. That time, she saw some milkweed in our garden and asked me “Do you want to grow a butterfly?”. I said I had no idea how, but yes, I’d love to learn. She then found an egg under a leaf and handed the leaf to me. She had been growing butterflies for years, and wanted to teach me.
I kept the leaf in a used, large, to-be-recycled spinach box. I honestly forgot about it at that point until two weeks later, when I walked by and happened to see a small caterpillar. I was so surprised! After that, I made sure to take care of the little caterpillar everyday. I laid some paper towels in the bottom of the box, so I could simply throw them out when they got soiled, and I made sure that the milkweed supply was always abundant.
It has been a really fun process for me to watch. From the eggs hatching into caterpillars to them spinning cocoons to finally emerging as butterflies. It’s also been fun for all my friends and their children who visit our house to see these butterflies at various stages.
I had a special bond with these butterflies, and I’d find myself talking to them like “Oh, did you eat the whole leaf already?”. They brought a lot of peace. Our whole family enjoyed growing the butterflies. My daughters and husband would comment on how big they were getting, and they would eagerly await for the beautiful butterflies. Our cat also enjoyed watching the butterflies, which was very cute. When the butterflies finally emerged, we always released them in our front yard right by some flowers.
I am looking forward to grow more butterflies next summer. Here are some pictures and videos from this year:
It was only after releasing some butterflies that I started noticing little details about the butterflies that come to our gardens. One day, I noticed that one butterfly had a sticker on it. I thought it might have happened by mistake, but after figuring out what it said and researching it, I found out that the butterfly was being purposefully tagged and tracked through the Monarch Watch Training Program. If anyone has more information about this, please share in the comment box below! I would love to hear from you.
The butterflies loves to visit our garden!