I'm new to butterfly gardening and a week ago my sister gave me milk weed, queen anne's lace, and cosmos to get me started. Yesterday I discovered she'd done a great job getting me started as there are two monarch caterpillars on the Queen Anne's lace. I planted the plants the same day I got them and yesterday when I was watering my gardens I noticed the caterpillars on the Queen Anne's lace. I know they feed only on milk weed (but that's the extent of my knowledge so far) and think maybe they transferred over to the Queen Anne's Lace accidentally when they were in the trunk of the car as we transported the plants. The caterpillars were still on the queen anne's lace today (which has closed up into a ball due to the rain we're getting). The milk weed is planted about 4-5 feet away. I've checked on them a lot since yesterday, and they haven't moved from where they are and they haven't been moving much at all. They were not hanging upside down and moved over pretty willingly and easily to a milkweed leaf I coaxed them onto. The second one had a tiny bit of sticky white liquid at it's tail end, but still came over onto the milk week leaf. Now I'm worried that I've interrupted their pupate stage because I've just been reading about the silk pad they create. Could that little bit of sticky liquid have been the beginning of a silk pad? Now, I'm also wondering if they were on the Queen Anne's lace because they were preparing to pupate (as I just read they'll wander when they're getting ready.) If I did disturb them
will they re-create the silk pad and begin pupating again on the milk weed?
Thanks for any advice and information. I'm thrilled to have them and hope I didn't hurt anything when I was trying to help.