Milkweed

LeafheadMay 8, 2013

It's early May and my Milkweed is finally making its appearance:)
I have a. purpuracea and A. syriaca poking up, as well as a small A. exaltata.
That puts the Monarch here in Madison in about 2 wks or so...
Nothing out of the incarnata or tuberosa.
Lots of physocarpa seedlings.
I also have 5 more seed varieties in cool moist stratification.

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Sounds like you've got a wide variety of milkweed types!

Sherry

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:07PM
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Leafhead

Thanx, Sherry:-) I believe in diversity. It promotes vigor in both the species and in its evolution.
Cats that tolerate a wide variety of Asclepias are apt to fare better in the long run. I'd also like to see more variety of MW here in Madison.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 10:13AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Some butterflies, including Monarchs, have been held up in the upper south due to the inordinately colder spring temps. That should, however,give your plants more time to mature.

My purple just popped up about 10 days ago. The speciosa is further along and now has bloom buds emerging, too.

My hopes for a good Monarch year are a bit shaky since the population is at an all time low.

Susan

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 6:39AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

I keep checking the Journey North Map, and there are very few sightings compared to the past years. It's kind of scary. I hope that the Monarchs are reproducing in Texas and will eventually move up. I have yet to find any eggs on all my plants. The eggs I found were on wild plants in a waste area.

Susan, glad your purple has returned. I have some tiny plants coming up. Apparently the gopher didn't eat all the roots. I've been putting everything in protection--wire baskets or huge pots to protect them. I remember Bob planting everything in pots. We shall see how it goes this year.

Sandy

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 9:03AM
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Leafhead

I didn't know gophers messed c Milkweed roots:( Purpuracea must be one of those lesser toxicity varieties. Nothing but Aphids ever touches my milkweed, except the Monarchs, of course.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:24PM
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ericwi

We finally have some milkweed up at our house, here in Madison. It looks like A. tuberosa. This is a sunny spot, with southern exposure, near the road. It is likely the warmest spot in the yard.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Leafhead

Good spot for it. They thrive on heat and sun.
My A. incarnata is now starting to make its appearance here in Madison as well.
It is quite assuredly my biggest draw to date, both as a host for the Monarch and as a nectar source for Monarchs and Eastern Tiger Swallowtails.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 2:55PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Usually incarnata is the first to emerge and tuberosa the last, but it has been a wacky year!

Sandy, I do hope we are able to increase the numbers a little bit. It's very concerning. BTW, the sand vine is starting to come up, too.

Susan

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 5:52PM
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mechelle_m(z9 TX)

I am happy to report that I have had lots of monarch activity this year. So much so that I had to purchase 3 1/2 flats of milkweed (thankfully, the nursery had it in stock) to keep all the cats fed! Some of my milkweed died and the rest had not leafed out enough to support all the eggs that were laid! I hope this is a sign of the season to come for the rest of the country!

Mechelle

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 2:52PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Mechelle,

That's the best news I've read in some time. I've been hoping they are stuck in Texas and haven't moved north yet.

Congrats on all the activity.

Sandy

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 8:18PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

My milkweed is finally poking up here in Michigan. So far just incarnata, but it's been cold. Hopefully the tuberosa will be up soon as well. My winter sowing of milkweed has been a dismal failure this year. I wonder if the seeds were old? I'll give them some time yet, but I was hoping to quadruple my plants this year. Other containers are doing very well. Good luck to all this summer, especially those Monarchs. Hope they find their way here.

Martha

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 6:25AM
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ericwi

Winter sown seeds might germinate and finally emerge around July 1. I have found tiny milkweed seedlings emerging right at the time that I was going to pick up the pot and throw the contents on the compost pile.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:19AM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

My milkweed is up I got it from our local nursery it was labeled A. Tuberosa.. We don't see to many monarchs here so fingers crossed :-)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:14PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Ericwi,
Thanks for the reassurance re wintersown milkweed. I've winter sown it before, but always had at least a few sprouts by now. It has been colder this year, though. I'll try to be patient.

Martha

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 10:13PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Yep, JessicaBe, looks just like mine. I have two tropical sprouts coming up, too. One is in its 3rd year. Also noticed a root coming up, very thick, when I removed a pot I had Oscar growing in last year. I waited til I could see the foliage starting to develop, and, yes, it's Oscar! Weird, huh.

Maybe some of the tropical are developing more cold tolerance.

Sus

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 6:27PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Yep, JessicaBe, looks just like mine. I have two tropical sprouts coming up, too. One is in its 3rd year. Also noticed a root coming up, very thick, when I removed a pot I had Oscar growing in last year. I waited til I could see the foliage starting to develop, and, yes, it's Oscar! Weird, huh.

Maybe some of the tropical are developing more cold tolerance.

Sus

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 6:28PM
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wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

I have two tropical coming back... and I've also planted tuberosa, have four incarnate, and one whorled milkweed that I ordered from Edens. Additionally I've planted two Oscar and several new tropicals. Everything is thriving ... just waiting...

~laura

    Bookmark   May 16, 2013 at 7:45PM
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Leafhead

The milkweed is starting to come back in the garden centers now here in Madison, WI. I plan on getting a few more incarnatas for the job site. I am planting a butterfly garden in a retirement community and the Residents all love it. I have a few curassavica seedlings up now. It's been a slow spring, but things are starting to pick up now...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 3:29AM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

I have swamp showing up in new places but the parents are not back. I suspect this plant may be a long lived perennial, as in it only lives a few years. My purple is up. It has yet to get very big or do anything. It looks healthier this year than it ever has. So, I am hoping it might bloom. That would be really nice. As long as FB (the large woodchuck in our yard) doesn't eat it. One year it was nipped to the ground.

Glad to hear everyone else's milkweed is starting.
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 5:38PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Elisabeth,
Could you surround your milkweed with a cylinder of hardware cloth or chicken wire that would keep the mammals away, but allow the bugs to reach it?

Martha

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 6:17PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

I just discovered that what I originally thought was Oscar milkweed is actually A. purpurescens, the rhizome having travelled about 3' from one of the mother plants. Guess it likes the location!

Elisabeth, I have found A. incarnata to be short-lived in my garden.

Susan

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 12:33AM
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Leafhead

I've never heard of any mammal or bird being interested in a toxic plant such as Milkweed. Purpurescens must not be that high in toxins I guess. At any rate, that had to be one hard up woodchuck.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 7:12AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Gophers love milkweed roots, and will eat any kind.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 8:30PM
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ericwi

We are now up to 22 milkweed in our yard, most of it is 8 or 10 inches high. I have not yet seen a monarch adult, or found any eggs. But it was 54 degrees F this morning, around 8, still too cool for monarch activity.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 1:58PM
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Leafhead

The only thing eating my Milkweed is rabbits!!
They ate three Oscars, a Poke and my Purple Milkweed. That's roughly half of what I planted last week.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 12:27AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Leaf head,
Are you sure it's rabbits? I've grown milkweed for years in neighborhoods with tons of bunnies and never had them touched. I wonder if it could be a ground hog or wood chuck or other critter. Not that it matters much, I guess. Can you provide any protection? I know you've got lots of milkweed, and it's hard to protect an entire yard.

I managed to get 4 curassavica sprouts from seed and I planted them out yesterday. My tuberosa and incarnata are sloooowly reappearing. We've had quite a cool spring. I also planted out about 5 patches of zinnias. My three established salvias have started blooming and I have more seedlings to plant out.

This is my second summer in this yard and it's so fun to see everything take hold and multiply. We had lots of rain and some warm weather a few weeks ago, and now there are volunteer seedlings popping up everywhere. Happy planting.

Martha

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:13AM
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wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

Rabbits eat stuff in my garden all the time, but they leave the milkweeds alone. I've had to put cages around my Liatris because last year they ate all of them down to the ground. They also devoured my pincushion flowers and a couple of other perennials I planted last year. OH - and my zinnias! Ate them down to nubs.

~Laura

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:56AM
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wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

Oops - it posted twice!

This post was edited by wifey2mikey on Mon, May 27, 13 at 10:01

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Leafhead

Pretty much caught a bunny in the act...
That unmistakeable sheared off look closes the case too. I hate to resort to cages, since they are so unattractive. I do that for my Viburnums, Forsythia and Redbud in the Winter.
So far, knock on wood, they've left my Liatris and Scabiosa alone. They really like anything in Caryophyllaceae and Amaranthaceae.
I never thought they'd go for Milkweed, though, esp with all the clover and other tasty stuff around. Leave it to me to have the only bunny that thinks he's Andrew Zimmern!!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 1:50PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I'm very lucky at my new home, so far. It doesn't appear that we have very many rabbits. The week we moved in I saw a fox in my next door neighbor's yard. That may explain why.

Martha

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 3:58PM
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spaceman13(6b)

All my fancy store bought milkweeds are poking through, about 3-6 in tall, my 'Ice ballet' is about 10".

My common (A. Syriaca) milkweed I dug up off the side of the road last year is about 3 1/2 feet tall, and flower buds are starting to grow!

All I need now is too see some Monarchs.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Leafhead

I just bought more Ice Ballet as well, and it is about a foot tall or so. My ones from last year didn't survive the drought.
My Hello Yellow tuberosa didn't fare so well either. I guess the cultivars aren't as hardy as the species varieties.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 11:11PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Hello Yellow is an interesting plant. It comes from the wild--I have found them here in Oklahoma. But, as you said, it doesn't seem to be as hardy as the orange variety. It's easy to grow from seed.
Some milkweeds just have to be replenished yearly. Noticed that the gophers are working on one of the tuberosa plants out in the garden. Will have to dig it up and let the roots regrow before replanting with protection.

Sandy

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:06AM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Sorry to reply so late. End of school year is crazy!

I could put cages but am too lazy to do so, lol! I try as much as possible to have a low maintenance garden. This year we planted clover in with the grass and have several large patches. the groundhog seems to be sticking to those this year. Except now she has three little ones with her. One of which has made a new home under a raised garden bed. That will be going away soon.

On the positive side, my purple milkweed is up, looking good, and has flower buds for the first time. I am very excited. I had my first monarch last week but I don't think she left me anything. Oh well.

Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:32AM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Sorry to reply so late. End of school year is crazy!

I could put cages but am too lazy to do so, lol! I try as much as possible to have a low maintenance garden. This year we planted clover in with the grass and have several large patches. the groundhog seems to be sticking to those this year. Except now she has three little ones with her. One of which has made a new home under a raised garden bed. That will be going away soon.

On the positive side, my purple milkweed is up, looking good, and has flower buds for the first time. I am very excited. I had my first monarch last week but I don't think she left me anything. Oh well.

Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:33AM
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