Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Ideal spacing for plants in a butterfly garden?

Posted by docmom z5 MI (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 7, 10 at 17:52

I have a certified Monarch Way Station, based on the variety of milkweeds and nectar plants and lack of pesticide use, etc. However, when I applied for the certification they mentioned the importance of maintaining appropriate spacing between plants. I've been letting the perennials spread and fill in and then put annuals where I have more sun and space. This year was warm and moist--perfect conditions for seedlings--and I had a bumper crop of new milkweed plants. As seedlings they were ideal for the Monarch cats in their first few instars. But there were literally thousands of plants. They were like a ground cover underneath the taller, established plants. If I thin them, how much space should I leave between them? Or should I just let them find a balance on their own? I usually love to let Ma Nature be in charge. Let me know what you think.

Martha


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Ideal spacing for plants in a butterfly garden?

I could be wrong but I don't think Monarchs care much about spacing. lol I tend to let Mother Nature take its course too. The strongest plants will survive and a lot of the smaller ones will die. If you'd rather have a few large plants that flower well, you may need to thin them out. If your main goal is foliage for the monarchs, I'm guessing it doesn't matter how thick they are.

Are there other types of plants mixed in with your milkweed? If so, they may get crowded out.

Which milkweed do you have that's reseeding so heavily?

Did you still get your certificate?


 o
RE: Ideal spacing for plants in a butterfly garden?

Christie,
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have my certificate. I just want to make sure I'm providing the optimal conditions for diverse wildlife. I have a mix of Asclepias incarnata, tuberosa, and another called "Red Milkweed" from Seed Savers Exchange. The incarnata is the one that reseeds so vigorously. I did have a horrible infestation of aphids this summer, so I don't know if that could be due to overcrowding, or if it's just the weather/humidity/cyclic changes, etc. I guess I'll wait to see how next year goes. This was by far my best year for Monarchs, though they were here and gone very early. I don't think I saw a single Monarch after the first of August, and that's about when the aphids really took over.

Oh, well. We'll see. Thanks again.

Martha


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here