Round 2 at our Monarch Caterpillar Nursery

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

Monarch Caterpillar Nursery Round 2


While we haven't actually seen one recently there has clearly been a Monarch Butterfly around laying eggs, since we spied 3 caterpillars on our milkweed plants the other day. This is the second batch this yea,r with more to come as we can see more eggs on the milkweed plants.


Anticipating a number of hungry Monarch Caterpillars, we ventured out to Armstrong Nursery this morning for several more milkweed plants with lots of leaves. Hopefully it will be enough as the caterpillars are voracious eaters.


Growing Monarch Caterpillar on our milkweed plant


We also noticed a number of small critters on the plants we had that look like tiny spiders (mites?) so we also bought a box of ladybugs to hopefully take care of the problem without using any kind of spray, especially with the caterpillars around. 


Box of Ladybugs


Live ladybugs


Hopefully there will be enough food to keep the ladybugs content and well fed so they don't leave.

Posted by

Jeff Dowler, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist / Realtor®

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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff I hope you get to see some of the caterpillars hatch into beautiful butterflies.

Jun 16, 2024 04:57 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks, George Souto 

We saw several caterpillars turn into butterflies after they became a chrysalis and hope to experience this miracle again.


Jun 16, 2024 05:04 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Jeff - it's readily apparent that Monarch Butterfly Watch is underway in your Carlsbad CA home nursery.   Good luck capturing more sights and maybe some additional photographs too.  

Jun 16, 2024 05:09 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thank you Michael Jacobs  We know the Monarchs are dwindling in number and we want to help in any way we can!


Jun 16, 2024 07:27 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Jeff- you are becoming to the monarchs what we've become to the bluebirds. I am fascinated by caterpillars and their transformation!!! Did not know that ladybugs were good for spider mites.   MOre to come..I hope!!

Jun 16, 2024 05:09 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thank you Kathy Streib  I thought of you and Larry and your bluebirds when writing this.

Hopefully the ladybugs will be happy - we released a bunch of them this evening.


Jun 16, 2024 07:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear
Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
Transaction Alliance Cincinnati & Dayton suburbs

Our milkweed unfortunately hasn't come back this year, and no sign of the monarchs yet.  I've seen some milkweed that is a brilliant orange bloom, hoping to plant some of that at our next home.

Jun 16, 2024 08:34 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

There are several varieties of milkweed at the garden center and we have several of the plants with orange flowers Liz and Bill Spear Not sure if Monarchs have a preference.

We did have another Monarch spend time in our yard yesterday - perhaps more eggs?


Jun 17, 2024 09:40 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jeff Dowler, CRS  happy father's day to you and let us know when your kids hatch:)Endre

Jun 16, 2024 10:21 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks Endre Barath, Jr.  We'll be watching closely!


Jun 17, 2024 09:41 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jeff. You are an ambassador of letting nature take its course with a little assistance from you. The caterpillars get plenty of food, and the Lady Bugs also get a good meal. And you and the wife can enjoy the view. 

Jun 17, 2024 04:31 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thank you Wayne Martin  We are enjoying watching nature. Hopefully the ladybugs won't all leave for greener pastures.


Jun 17, 2024 09:42 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I hope you get to see some more butterflies!

Jun 17, 2024 05:29 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks Kat Palmiotti  We're looking forward to seeing them and hopefully more butterflies around in general.


Jun 17, 2024 09:43 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I think ladybugs are a wonderful addition to any yard and you captured some great photos of the caterpillar!

Jun 17, 2024 05:50 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thank you for the kind words Brian England  We prefer nature's way of dealing with critters!


Jun 17, 2024 09:44 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Jeff... hopefully we'll be seeing some gorgeous monarch butterfly pictures soon.

Jun 17, 2024 06:24 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Hi Nina Hollander, Broker 

Next phase is turning into a chrysalis and then hatching in 2 weeks or so - if I have my timing right. Time will tell.


Jun 17, 2024 09:46 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jeff Dowler, CRS - How exciting! I hope your grandkids come for a visit. This would be exciting and educational for them to see! 

My Milk Weed isn't doing too well. :( 

Jun 18, 2024 09:00 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP 

The grands were here recently but it was before we discovered the caterpillars - but we sent photos.

Sorry to hear about your milkweed - is there a garden center nearby you can consult?


Jun 18, 2024 09:40 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jeff,

I have many monarchs in the summer, but not sure what they eat here. I have some milkweed, but not a ton. Maybe they like some other plants too.

Jun 20, 2024 09:54 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Hi Dorte Engel 

They are pleasure to see aren't they? And there just aren't that many of them.

Seems to me the Monarch butterflies will enjoy a number of flowers, but the caterpillars need to feed on milkweed.


Jun 20, 2024 10:28 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Jun 22, 2024 06:48 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks for the feature Kathy Streib 


Jun 22, 2024 08:15 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Hello, California dude! It's been a while. Wanted to pop by and see what you've been up to. It's interesting to see you caring for the caterpillars. I wouldn't know it was a soon to be Monarch butterfly without a little education. That caterpillar looks a little too much like a horned tomato worm to me! But now I know better. The ladybugs are a good choice to organically eliminate any spider mites. Best of luck with your garden!

Horned Tomato Worm

Jun 22, 2024 07:11 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Hey Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty  Thanks for stopping by.

We are enjoying the Monarch Caterpillars and expect more since the Monarch has been around alot and presumably laying egg. We had a good time with the ones that hatched before.

Love the photo you shared but the colors and shape are definitely different from the Monarch.


Jun 22, 2024 08:11 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Jeff,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post as I don't know how I missed your fascinating post! What great photos you took and I would have never thought of buying lady bugs. Thank you for sharing your love of Mother Nature at it's best!

Jun 23, 2024 05:27 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks for stopping by Dorie Dillard Austin TX  I'm glad we have another caterpillar that has now turned into a chrysalis, and another small caterpillar just showed.

The Garden Center recommended the ladybugs rather than using a spray since we have the caterpillars on the milkweed. 


Jun 23, 2024 10:27 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I don’t know if I misunderstood, but I had no idea you could buy ladybugs ?  ………….

Jun 23, 2024 05:40 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

No you did not understand Michael J. Perry  You CAN buy ladybugs to let loose in the garden to take care of pests rather than using sprays.


Jun 23, 2024 10:24 AM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

HI Jeff Dowler, CRS That is awesome.  I have witnessed it a few times but has been many years ago.  We do have some monarchs who pass by ever year.  Thank you for sharing! Mike

Jun 23, 2024 11:05 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks for stopping by Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker We enjoy seeing the Monarchs and want to do what we can to help nature along with the caterpillars.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Jun 23, 2024 11:24 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very cool project!  Your well intentioned caterpillar and lady bug food should reap wonderful rewards.  Good for you for not using chemicals!  

Jun 24, 2024 03:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Thanks for stopping by Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ  It was fun to watch the complete cycle a few weeks ago and we are looking forward to more butterflies this summer.


Jun 26, 2024 12:08 PM
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
RE/MAX Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

It is amazing to watch nature at work.  We have passion flower vines that have been eaten clean of every leaf by fritillary caterpillars and now butterflies all over the yard. No worry about the passion flower vines, they grow back right away.

Jun 26, 2024 04:35 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS

Agree that nature at work IS amazing to watch Linda Metallo DiBenardo 

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. Enjoy your summer!


Jun 26, 2024 12:09 PM