I know I’m probably speaking too soon, but I feel as though I’ve finally mastered the thanksgiving cactus.
Since learning that soaking once a month, at least during the summer months, will keep the leaves nice a plump, I’ve been feeling pretty confident about my ability to care for them. I took two leaves with roots from my plant and planted them, and one is starting to make a new leaf!
I’m so excited to see this new leaf growing!
It shares a small pot with a desert rose seedling. I’ve been spraying the cactus with water every week day and watering the desert rose once a week, so the cactus does get water too. I was worried about the leaf rotting if I watered it, even though it had roots. I remember reading that it’s OK to start watering when a new leaf starts to form so I guess there’s no need to worry anymore.
I’ve been hoping to follow my caterpillars through more life stages this year but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I’ve only managed to catch them at egg and first instar stages.
Last month after I saw my caterpillars in first instar and then disappear altogether, I wondered if predators got them. And then I regretted planting so much dill. I thought it would go to waste, but instead it bolted in the heat. I was surprised to see that it still attracts swallowtails to lay their eggs. My small plot that once had 4 caterpillars now has at least 8, and my large plot has a few as well.
Two caterpillars (and shed skin?) among dill flowers in my large plot
Another caterpillar. Flowers will form into seeds soon.
I lover the contrast between the tiny yellow flowers, green stems and black caterpilar (and my fingers and calendula in the background)
After planting all that butterfly weed, I still haven’t seen any butterflies on it. I check under leaves and along stems for evidence of caterpillars, no luck. I have seen a few bees on it so I guess it’s a good thing I planted it.
I think this butterfly weed is a stunning. Look at those flowers!
At least the spiders like them
I did manage to spot a swallowtail butterfly in the garden last week, hovering over red clover running rampant in the grass. I guess my milkweed can’t compete with it’s simple beauty. I suppose the important thing is that they have lots of food sources.
You can spot the butterfly right in the centre of the photo. He wouldn’t let me get closer for a more flattering picture