Milkweed and Monarchs
After many years of trying to grow milkweed from seed I finally went out searching for plants – again. Previous years proved to be near misses with milkweed plants. I was either too early (before school let out for summer), or too late so I gave up looking for plants. I sought out milkweed seeds for a few seasons with no visible luck in getting seeds to grow. (They should be scattered in the fall so they have a period of winter dormancy before they grow in the spring.)
Why is it so hard to find this plant? I have read it does not transplant well, seeds are finicky etc. This summer on a whim, I stopped at a garden store I do not normally shop at and found large Swamp Milkweed plants! Oh it was glorious day, and I happily paid FULL PRICE for three plants. (My path to Soergel’s rewards is paved with milkweed, cinnamon rolls, and food allergy friendly products from the rest of their store.)
Another few weeks later with hungry kids in tow we made a “I promise it will be super quick stop” at one of my go-to garden centers in the area, Best Feeds. While the kids were screaming about all the bees buzzing around the pollinator friendly plants, I turn my head to calm them down when I saw milkweed! Oh the varieties they had! I quickly purchased butterfly weed and common milkweed for my yard.
- Butterfly weed (which I only recently learned is a host plant for monarchs, and you wouldn’t know it was a plant by it’s common name or look!) It has orange flowers, and thin green leaves.
- Swamp milkweed
- Common milkweed (hurray!!!) This is milkweed you probably see growing along the sides of roads. It’s pretty common everywhere! Leaves are large and thick.
Here’s a really great list with native milkweed varieties by state via the National Wildlife Federation.
As the weeks go by we have had a few visitors to our plants.
https://www.thesugarpixie.net/2017/08/08/milkweed-and-monarchs/https://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/20170803_080754-448093706-e1502239243516.jpghttps://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/20170803_080754-448093706-e1502239243516-150x150.jpgFamilybutterfly,gardening,monarch,native plantsAfter many years of trying to grow milkweed from seed I finally went out searching for plants - again. Previous years proved to be near misses with milkweed plants. I was either too early (before school let out for summer), or too late so I gave up looking for...thesugarpixie email@example.comAdministratorThe Sugar Pixie