Monday, September 13, 2010

Shady Oak Butterfly Farm

Learn more about butterfly farming: read A butterfly hobby takes wing and brings in $300,000 a year. Be sure to watch the beautiful video of a monarch emerging from its chrysalis.


While we can attract butterflies to our own yards by planting more native plants--particularly larval food plants for butterflies, sometimes we might wish for more butterflies for special occasions. This is when having access to a butterfly farm like White Oak comes into play. I thought it was interesting that they ship adult butterflies in folds of wax paper in chilled containers to "mimic a cool spring morning." In my tour of 11 Florida garden fests this past year, several included butterfly houses and/or butterfly releases. Just beautiful!

One other note on welcoming monarchs to your yard: Don't plant scarlet milkweed, an exotic from South America that is commonly sold in big box stores, because the scarlet milkweed is more tropical than our natives and continues to bloom for a longer period. This means that many monarchs do not migrate and become susceptible to parasites. See: http://if-srvv-edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw311.  I've ordered some butterfly weed (Asclepias. tuberosa) plants: hopefully I'll be successful in not killing them.
 
Ginny Stibolt

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