The Swan Plant

- what a great host!

Kids Go Gardening - - Spring -

WARN­ING: Swan plants are poi­sonous! Don’t eat them un­less you are a cater­pil­lar.

Plant one in your gar­den for the monarch but­ter­flies to lay their eggs on. Tiny cater­pil­lars soon hatch from the eggs and get fat­ter and fat­ter as they eat the leaves. Watch as they trans­form into chrysalises and emerge as beau­ti­ful but­ter­flies. It’s amaz­ing! Swan plants are avail­able at your Go Gar­den­ing cen­tre, or you could try grow­ing some from seed (tip: re­move the eggs off tiny seedlings so they have a chance to grow big­ger be­fore the cater­pil­lars gob­ble them up!) For lots of but­ter­flies, grow lots of swan plants! Sci­en­tists reckon there are be­tween 15,000 and 20,000 va­ri­eties of but­ter­fly and one of our favourites is the Monarch. The Monarch But­ter­fly NZ Trust is an or­gan­i­sa­tion that helps pro­tect our but­ter­flies. Look at their web­site for more tips. www.monarch.org.nz

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