Here are the steps in do-it-yourself monarch raising.


1. Look for eggs or caterpillars on the undersides of milkweed leaves.

2. Remove the leaf on which you find the egg and transfer it to a container.

3. Keep eggs in a container lined with moist paper towel to keep the milkweed from drying out.

4. Eggs will hatch within 1-5 days.


1. Keep caterpillars in an aquarium, jar, ice cream bucket or bug cage.

2. Clean the container daily to ward off bacteria.

3. Feed caterpillars fresh milkweed daily. Wash milkweed in water and store it in the refrigerator.

4. Monarchs remain in the larval stage for about two weeks.


1. When ready to pupate, your caterpillars will crawl to the top of their cage, attach themselves with silken thread and form a prepupal "J" before shedding their skin for the last time.

2. This process happens quickly, within 2 minutes.

3. You can tell they're ready to shed their larval skin when their front tentacles hang limply and their bodies straighten out a little.

4. The pupa stage lasts 9-14 days.


1. Pupae turn darker the day before the butterflies emerge, and look black on the day they emerge.

2. The butterflies usually emerge in the morning; their wings will be soft, flexible and wet at first.

3. If they fall, carefully pick them up by holding the thorax, and place them atop the side of the cage. They need to hang with their wings pointed down.

4. Hold their wings closed as you release them or open their cage to let them fly free.

Source: University of Minnesota