Sunday, October 10, 2010

One of the Reasons I Grow Organic Vegetables...

is for protecting the pollinators. Without them, we wouldn't have vegetables to eat. I planted two pots of fennel in order to provide food for the Monarch butterfly to prosper. Currently, the fennel plants are only two to three inches high. I figured I'd be able to provide food for the Monarchs by next year. Well, did I get a surprise yesterday! The fennel is untouched, but the dill I had planted in two pots that had grown to be about four or five inches high, is GONE! The Monarch caterpillars are here already, and boy are they hungry! They have eaten my dill, which I happily surrender to them for their food. They are heavily into the green foliage of my carrots that I grew in a container. All of a sudden, one day they're here. I am really happy about that! The following pictures show some of the Monarch caterpillars with their beautiful colors. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed seeing these as much as I did.

Have a wonderful day!

Veggie PAK


  1. Hey, gal - you've got Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillars! I love those butterflies. The key is the bright yellow and the fact that they are eating umbelliferous plants like dill, parslety, carrots, fennel, etc. Monarchs, bless them, only eat milkweed. That's it. I hope you got to see the Swallowtail butterflies - they are gorgeous!

  2. Great info! Thanks for clearing up the identification of these caterpillars. I'll be watching for them to flutter by this spring and summer.

  3. I grew fennel this year. After I pulled the nastrutiums out of the pot they shared, the caterpillars you pictured turned up on my fennel and ate it to the bone. I had no idea what they were. Thank you for the information.

  4. The thanks go to Sybil. She correctly identified them as Swallowtails. I had 17 on my carrot tops at one time. I put bird netting over the plants and I guess they all went to where they were going. Only one was left, and he was dead. The yellow jackets and wasps cleaned him up for me.

    Please note that Veggie PAK is a guy, not a gal. Oops! We all make mistakes. My wife said I made one just the other day...