Sunday, March 7, 2010

Don't Throw The Babies Out With The...

Many friends say to me that they do not get praying mantis year to year. I have had a reliable pair every year and while I was cleaning out the garden it occurred to me the possible reason why.

While I was snipping old perennial branches and disposing of them in bags (sorry, no room for composting those), I had one of those moments of pause -am I forgetting something? I was standing in front of the dead branches of the pineapple sage, Salvia elegans.

Yes, I remember! The egg case of the praying mantis is attached to the sage! I went through my branches strewed across the sidewalk and yes, there it was. The prior year the eggs were deposited on the tomato supports and I almost completely forgot about seeing this last fall on the sage.

Last fall.

I grabbed the branch, putting it in a safe spot until I was done cleaning.

I then tied it to the rose trellis and clematis vine, knowing that I wouldn't mess with this area too much. Whew, mantis free season averted! Although, the first ones came from somewhere -my guess is that they came in a potted nursery plant or as an egg case on a plant transplanted from another garden.

1 comment:

  1. I had the distinct thrill of finding a newly hatched batch of mantises on our post box in front of my house several years ago. They were galloping all over the mailbox like a miniature herd of mustangs! I corralled as many as I could into a deep bowl and carried them back into my garden where they could gnosh at will...Also dropped them off throughout the garden so they wouldn't immediately eat each other!


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