How do I set up my kit?
Wondering how to set up your Whimsical Wings Butterfly Kit? Whimsical Wings received this AMAZING video a family made of the kit they received. Check out Gardening with Jemma 101.
Those are aphids. Aphids do not harm your eggs or caterpillars, but a heavy infestation can deplete your plant. If you see aphids on your plant, you can rinse them off with water. Make sure your caterpillar is not nearby, or you’ll rinse him off as well! If you have just a few of the aphids, you can isolate and squish them. Don’t use any chemicals on your plant, as this will harm your eggs and caterpillars.
My plant has more than two eggs on it. What do I do?
If you find more than two eggs on your plant, you will need more food. The plant can only sustain up to two growing caterpillars. Check your local nursery for an additional milkweed plant. Your plant is Asclepias Incarnata, which is a perennial plant. When your caterpillars are very small, they will transfer onto another type of milkweed – so ask for Asclepias Curassavica, Tuberosa or Common milkweed. Have the grower ensure they have not used any chemicals on the plant, as this will kill your caterpillars.
Make sure the caterpillars have easy access to the new plant by placing it directly beside (ideally leaves touching) the plant that came with your kit. If you cannot find milkweed, you can contact us to help you find it in your local area.
Why are my milkweed leaves turning yellow?
Although this is normal for the lower leaves as they are the oldest and getting ready to fall off, this can also mean the plant is getting too much water. Milkweed loves sunlight and drier soil, so give the soil a chance to dry out before watering it again.
My caterpillars stopped moving or are on the side of the cube.
Your caterpillars will shed their skin approximately five times before turning into the chrysalis. It is normal for them to get off the plant to find a place conducive to shedding their skin. They should return after a day or so to the plant.
How do caterpillars shed their skin?
Caterpillars must “shed” (or molt) their skin in order to grow. As the caterpillar body grows bigger and bigger, it outgrows its skin and needs to SHED it. In order to do this, the caterpillar will usually stop being active for a few days, then climb to the side of the cube where it can attach itself to the mesh. The caterpillar will then squeeze itself out of its tight old skin.
So if your caterpillar is not moving for a few days or is hanging out on the side of your mesh cube – don’t worry, it’s only preparing to molt.
Caterpillars can shed their skin as many as five times during their transformation to becoming a butterfly.
My butterfly fell to the bottom of the enclosure while hatching. What do I do?
If you are watching the butterfly emerge and it falls to the bottom of the enclosure, place your finger near the butterfly for it to grab on — once it has established a grip on your finger, coach it gently to go back onto it’s empty shell so that it will dry its wings without crinkling. It may or may NOT stay there. Mother Nature takes her course to ensure only the fittest survive. If your butterfly does survive with crinkly wings, feed it Gatorade from a sponge or keep fresh flowers in your cube for it to nectar on and live out its life. Nature can be HARSH. This can be a lesson to your children that even though this butterfly is DIFFERENT, its life also matters. Remember less than 95% will survive to become a butterfly in the wild.
I only had one caterpillar survive to be a butterfly.
Whimsical Wings ships TWO caterpillars or eggs per plant. Two butterflies is the maximum number that one plant can sustain to adulthood. While we wish both caterpillars make it through their journey for you to release them, we realize Mother Nature is in charge. Our guarantee is that you see the process from start to finish SUCCESSFULLY. If at least one of your caterpillars makes it to a butterfly, that is SUCCESS. If not, you can ship the contents of the kit back in your box and we will refund your entire purchase price, shipping included. We want your experience to be successful!
What is the minimum temperature for the kits to be outside?
A minimum of 60 degrees is recommended. You will need to keep the kit inside if the outside temperature dips below this.
What if it’s windy outside?
If it’s a windy day, your cube could blow over and cause harm to your plant, caterpillar, and/or chrysalis. You will need to bring the kit inside during this type of weather condition.
Toxins in your home
When keeping your caterpillars and butterflies inside your home, please keep a few things in mind. Toxins such as cleaning products, Febreeze, flea and tick treatments for your animals, and general pesticides should be avoided. The list is exhausting, so common sense prevails that any substance not found in the natural environment outside could potentially cause a problem for your caterpillars.
What to do, as all homes have these substances? Place your habitat away from these toxins as much as you possibly can. Generally pest treatments are administered around the baseboards of your home, so finding a place on a table would be a good idea. If you have a screened porch, that’s an ideal place to keep your habitat. Wash your hands before interacting with the milkweed. These measures should keep your habitat and caterpillars safe from toxins in your home.