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Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Posted by treehugger100 z6MD (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 16:11

I just read about the devastation (again) the Monarchs have taken. I have zero here this year in PA. We have common milkweed in our area all over the place but I never see Monarchs use it, even when they were more numerous. I wanted to plant swamp and other milkweeds on the property but it seems too late for seeds. Is there anything I can do?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

You can order seed from Prairie Moon this fall and Winter sow and/or stratify for Spring sowing. I keep my seeds in Ziploc baggies, clearly labelled, in a vase I store them in my unheated garage. As a matter of fact, I should have plenty of Marsh Milkweed seed this year I can send you. I also have Butterfly Weed and Whorled Milkweed.
Most importantly this year, plant later blooming flowers for the South bound journey. Goldenrod and Asters are good examples. They love Liatris (Prairie Blazing Star) here in Wisconsin.
Annuals such as Zinnias and Mexican Sunflower are used as well by migrating Monarchs. Milkweed is in seed by this time and is ignored.

John


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Just having a garden with nectar sources for them is a huge help, especially fall nectar. They need to fuel up and gain weight as they travel down to Mexico. You have a month or two to get ready for the southbound generation, I think. They usually start in August, but I've had Monarchs in my yard through early October.

Goldenrods, native asters, zinnias, Mexican Sunflowers, eupatoriums, ironweeds are all helpful for fall nectar.

Lack of fall nectar is as much of a problem as lack of host plants for them.

You can get some seeds now or later this winter, and either spread them where you want them, or cold moist stratify them for 60 days.


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Thanks to you both. I see I have a severe lack of fall nectar. I am planting 30 Liatris bulbs now (or should I wait until Fall?). I will get some asters at a big box store this Fall and plant them in, too. Is it too late to plant zinnia seeds? Also I have purchased some cats to raise. It won't solve the problem but it will make me feel better while I wait for my gardens to do their thing. John, I would appreciate the butterfly weed seeds. How do I get you my address? I will happily pay postage. Thanks you guys.


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

It isn't too late to plant Zinnias or Mexican Sunflower seeds, but I must caution you AGAINST shopping at Big Box stores, who are likely to use or possess plants that have been treated c systemic pesticides. These come out in the nectar :/
Find a nice garden center, inquire as to their gardening practices and proceed c caution. Do you have a Farmers' Market
around town? That would be an ideal place to shop for pesticide free plants.
As for the Liatris, you'll want to avoid cultivars and stay with natives, and buy live plants if you want to help them this year. You should really wait until Fall to plant corms.
I'll e-mail you c my address and I'll send you some Milkweed and a few other goodies to get you going.

John


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Hi Treehugger--Thank you for taking care of them by providing fall nectar sources--it's an area we can forget pretty easily.

Do you have access to a native plant source or even a Wild Ones Chapter? Wild Ones chapters are a great resource and you could connect with people who would be happy to share some of these fall flowering plants with you.

In addition to what John said about the pesticides (they actually sell plant for pollinators while those plants have potentially been treated with neonicotinoids (51% in one study)), sometimes the fall asters at the Big Box stores aren't generally ones that will provide any sustenance, if they are cultivars,etc. They might not have native fall flowers.

Below is a link to a list of native plants--New England Aster is a beauty--butterflies and others love it. New York Ironweed is also another attractive plant for them too. I'm not super-familiar with the goldenrods they list, but there might others that would work for you too.

Take care.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native plant list


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Will purple dome new england asters work? All I see otherwise are seeds and 50 plant flats. Help!


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Will purple dome new england asters work? All I see otherwise are seeds and 50 plant flats. Help!


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Sorry about the double post. How do I get rid of it? bernergrrl I checked into Wild Ones. You have to pay a membership fee and then post a request and maybe they will have my new england aster plants. It looks like fabulous group for down the road so thanks for that. Still looking for the aster plants. I found a purple dome new england aster but it is only a 3" pot.


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Hi Treehugger--Thank you for taking care of them by providing fall nectar sources--it's an area we can forget pretty easily.

Do you have access to a native plant source or even a Wild Ones Chapter? Wild Ones chapters are a great resource and you could connect with people who would be happy to share some of these fall flowering plants with you.

In addition to what John said about the pesticides (they actually sell plant for pollinators while those plants have potentially been treated with neonicotinoids (51% in one study)), sometimes the fall asters at the Big Box stores aren't generally ones that will provide any sustenance, if they are cultivars,etc. They might not have native fall flowers.

Below is a link to a list of native plants--New England Aster is a beauty--butterflies and others love it. New York Ironweed is also another attractive plant for them too. I'm not super-familiar with the goldenrods they list, but there might others that would work for you too.

Take care.

Here is a link that might be useful: Native plant list


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

OK. I ordered zinnia seeds and more cosmos. Success on New York Ironweed plant. I found a gallon pot from earthly delights. Still no one has new england asters except for the purple dome cultivar. Would that be good or not? Thanks for all of your help.


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

It's worth trying the cultivar of the New England Aster. I can't guarantee you'll get Monarchs on it, I've always had the straight native, the tallish one. The Ironweed plant will get visits too. The zinnias will be popular as long as they bloom in time.

You'll be ready for next fall which is also really important!

Thank you for caring so much! So nice to know there are others out there. :)


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Tree, I just happen to have some New England Asters in my garden. Would you like seed? They would work for next year...

John


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

That would be great. I can that seeds are going to be my main option. That's not good as I am not great with seeds at all. I guess I will have to learn. Do you happen to have wild or native Liatris? Thanks a lot, John!


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

I bought some Asclepias incarnata seeds yesterday and put them in the fridge. How do you recommend proceeding? I have raised Monarch caterpillars in the past and released them...the most I ever released in one day was twenty one.
I missed out by one, in a Garden Club plant swap to get a nice clump of New England Asters. I could use seeds for those, or butterfly weed or anything you recommend. I do have monarda and buddleia. And cosmos. Thanks for helping the Monarchs.


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Cottonwood,
It's too late in the season to start any more Milkweed seeds, as they'll never make it thru the winter. I recommend storing in the fridge until Winter and then transferring into an unheated shed or garage, Ziploc baggies in a jar so that nothing can get at them. Spring sow for best results.
I can send you some seeds for the Monarch, such as Asters, Butterflyweed and Common Milkweed. I also have other nectar and host plant seed to offer.

Tree,
I have Liatris lingulistylis, or Prairie Blazing Star. I don't know if they're native in MD, but they sure attract the Monarchs here in Wisconsin :-)> You are certainly welcome to some.

All seeds this Fall will have to undergo stratification, so find a corner in your garages (unheated) or sheds and place them in jars for the Winter. You can also Winter sow if you so desire.
Thank you guys for helping the Monarch and other butterflies

John


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

You can often find discounted plants at nurseries in late summer. Fall planting plants gives you a huge head start on next season compared to seeds. good luck


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

I think we should start a newbie adoption thread so people with good butterfly plants in their gardens can plan to save as much seed as possible to share with those just getting started. I've already started keeping an eye out for seeds as they ripen in my garden, and I'll make an effort to dry and store as many as possible to share with others.

Martha


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Martha, That's an excellent idea! I think I will wipe John out! Will you start the thread?


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RE: Monarchs: How Can I help This Late in the Season?

Yes, I started a new thread. I may post on the seed exchange forum also. There was great response to the newbie milkweed thread(s).

Martha


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