Reminder: Plant Milkweed for the endangered Monarch

joeinmo 6b-7aMay 1, 2014

This year represents the smallest population ever for the beautiful Monarch Butterfly. Habitat loss and pesticides have caused their populations to dwindle from the hundreds of millions to less than a few hundred thousand this year. The biggest problem is the loss of milkweed, which is the only plant the larvae feed on.

In addition for those Monarchs passing through - plant butterfly bush, lilac, crown flower, bee balm, cone flower, phlox, black eyed Susan, viburnums.

Here is a link that might be useful: more about monarchs click here

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Thanks Joe.
I was glad to see my swamp milkweed and purple milkweed coming back this year. They like tropical milkweed too but it's an annual and I haven't seen any for sale anywhere this spring so far.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 2:10PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a


All mine is doing well this year

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 11:35PM
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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

Where can I buy milkweed? Have not seen it anywhere but then again, I am new to the area.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:58AM
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Found this chewing away on the milkweed today. There were three or four a week ago, but I guess they have all cocooned except this one.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:43PM
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Or should I say they have gone into chrysalis stage. this This should be the first hatching, at least a couple more before the fall one.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Sharbear try Westwood Gardens for butterfly weed. There are four locations in the Bella Vista/Rogers/NW Arkansas area, they should have some.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:47PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I think there is more milkweed around than you think. There is a weedy vine that is all over Joplin in the alleys. I have it and encourage it because the small flowers smell nice. It is an invasive weed and hard to keep out of waste spaces.

Here is a link that might be useful: honeyvine milkweed

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:57PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Nice Mosswitch!

Helen, it may seem that way, but you need to look at the overall picture. The Monarchs have lost over 60% of their habitat to farming, which spray the important milkweed with chemicals to kill it. When you take the entire US that's huge and it's why Monarchs have went from hundreds of millions to maybe 30 million today, which is probably not sustainable. Everything is. weed, it's how you perceive it. Monarchs perceive it as food, I like Monarchs, grew up with them, want my kids to grow up with them, so it's not a weed, no more than your front lawn and Fescue which is a huge invasive weed, except in Missouri. The little patches of milkweed that we create in butterfly gardens might help just enough, what would be even better and help. great deal is if you call your state representative or Senator and tell them to leave the areas along highways uncut or unmowed during Monarch season and to plant milkweed there, this would help a lot.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 12:20PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

What I am saying is that I allow this vining milkweed because it has a lovely smell even though it has weedy habits. Others may already have climbing milkweed and not know it. Anyone growing the honey vine needs to know it may pop up where they don't want it. Compared to my other invasive vines, it is not a problem. My friend however has a privet hedge and it is a pain pulling it out of that. I have the pink milkweed coming up all over the place. I allow it to spread. It is nice to have a plant that doesn't have to be watered or cared for.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 4:45PM
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It IS possible to transplant butterfly weed from the wild into a garden but difficult to dig the very, very deep taproot.

In some areas, you cannot transplant anything growing along a roadway so check the law in your state.

Here in the West Plains/Pomona area, butterfly weed grows in fields and most cattle ranchers are glad to see it gone. The conservation department office in West Plains uses butterfly weed as a landscaping feature and it sure is pretty.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:39PM
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My swamp milkweed and butterfly weed are blooming now. I only had one purple milkweed (asclepias purpurascens) that survived and this was its first year to bloom. I loved the color, very showy.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:06PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

The ordinary pink milkweed has a pleasant smell not honeysuckle quality but nice. I would like to have the purple; did you order it from a wild flower nursery? If I am not mistaken the milkweed that is not supposed to be hardy lived through the winter here.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:18PM
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I grew the purple milkweed from seed I ordered from a wild flower nursery, don't remember which one. I had four seedlings but only one lived to the end of summer. I looked at it today to see if it looked like it might set seed but nope. I need to dig though my seed box and see if there were any left overs from last year.
I'm very surprised if your tropical milkweed made it through the winter since it was so cold this year. It's the prettiest I think and seems to be the Monarchs' favorite. There are some strains that are a little more hardy than others so if yours acted like a perennial, remember me if you're able to collect seeds this summer. : )

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:52PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Milkweed attracts lots of bugs. So far I have not seen a monarch. These insects want nectar so the plants are still attractive. When they munch the leaves later, the plants don't look as nice.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:46PM
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