Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTO! It’s a bouncing baby…mantid! Or 500…

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Rebecca Sweet
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Rebecca Sweet
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Rebecca Sweet


Today’s photo is from Rebecca Sweet in Los Altos, California. She says, “Every spring we buy a praying mantis nest at our local nursery, hoping it hatches and provides us with at least one praying mantis we can watch throughout the Summer. They’re somewhat territorial so they tend to hang out in one location, and it’s always fun to have an easter egg hunt of sorts to try and find it. We keep these little nests in a warm location in the house (in a plastic terrarium – not loose.) It seems some years they hatch, others they don’t. Lucky for us this one decided to hatch last week and I was fortunate enough to find it just as they were emerging from their cocoon! I quickly put them outside as they’re absolutely VORACIOUS when they emerge and will start eating each other—ick! I try and find an aphid-covered rosebush or some other ‘buffet’ for them to start their new life.” Thanks, Rebecca, for sharing!

Welcome to the Fine Gardening Garden Photo of the Day blog! Every weekday we post a new photo of a great garden, a spectacular plant, a stunning plant combination, or any number of other subjects. Think of it as your morning jolt of green.

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View Comments


  1. ge1836 05/31/2010

    What a wonderful idea

  2. KariLonning 05/31/2010

    If the grownup praying mantis wasn't such a wonderful thing, this would be ... gross. Am i reading this correctly that out of this whole hatch, you only expect one to survive, so stay due to being territorial? Michelle, do they sell these nests in CT?

  3. greekgal 05/31/2010

    Last year, I was so excited to see a praying mantis, but I kept wondering why it was hanging around for a couple of days on the hummingbird feeder. The hummers would see it and take off. I finally moved it to the flower garden and found on the internet that they can catch hummingbirds and eat them!

  4. pacificNWgardner 05/31/2010

    Thanks for posting this one. It's an inspiration for those of us who have not tried hatching them.

  5. flowerlady1014 05/31/2010

    What a cool picture. I loved watching them when I was a little kid but never knew they were territorial.

  6. sweetrebecca 05/31/2010

    Update! Our 2nd nest hatched over the weekend so I'm fairly confident we'll have lots of them to watch over the Summer! Kari - what I meant to imply was even though hundreds are hatched, it seems they get eaten by birds, other insects or migrate to neighbor's gardens so I'm usually only able to find one (or two if I'm lucky) each Summer.

  7. arboretum 06/01/2010

    wow, rebecca, this is the COOLEST thing !!
    And you can be doubly proud of yourself because I have Never seen this many responses to a FG Photo of the Day!
    Thanks so much for the great shots,
    a teaching website

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