I finally put the milkweed into the garden this week.
I planted both the tropical milkweed and the common milkweed. The tropical milkweed is supposed to be colorful and is treated as an annual. It will die off in the winter and will have to be planted again next year.
The common one is a perennial and will propagate itself and while not as showy as the tropical variety, it is said to be very fragrant. I’m looking forward to that.
I grew both from seed.I decided to devote one of my garden squares to the butterflies entirely.
I used to grow vegetables in it. There is still some garlic, lettuces and a cucumber there, but most of it is parsley for Painted Lady larvae. Something said to me “Just do it! Make it a sanctuary for both the larva and the adults.” And so I did. It now has both varieties of milkweed, the parsley, lavender and zinnias.
I marked an old broken planter as my marker. And here it is:
In the garden we call The Divider we have mainly tall pines, lemon balm, roses, strawberries, hydrangeas, hollies and a magnolia we call “Stumpy.” Stumpy was rescued off of the curb. A neighbor just threw him out. Because of this, his top died. Just picture my husband carrying this tree and it’s root ball down the street. We cut it off and gave him some TLC. And yes, we pointed out Stumpy in all his lushness to the neighbors who tossed him.
I planted some milkweed there too, because there is a luscious butterfly bush there, and I wanted to be sure the butterflies were aware of the little nursery we are trying to start for them.
These are some of the common milkweed seedlings transplanted into larger pots until I figure out where I want them to go.There is a gully up the road, and I thought to plant them there to establish a wild milkweed area in the woods.
But the thought of leaving them unattended and perhaps dying makes me hesitate doing that. I’m like a momma to my seedlings.
I found some additional sites for further reading about the monarch crisis and planting milkweed for them.
Stewardship Garden: http://www.ourhabitatgarden.org/creatures/milkweed-growing.html
Ecosystem Gardening: http://www.ecosystemgardening.com/butterfly-gardening-for-monarchs-got-milkweed.html
Michigan Live: (Great photos and Video) http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2012/10/bring_on_the_milkweed_to_bring.html
- Seen Monarchs Lately? Probably Not & Here’s Why (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- Where have all the monarch butterflies gone? (cbc.ca)
- So…What’s it like to Harvest Milkweed (wildlettucegal.wordpress.com)
- Milkweed is not a Weed it is Important Monarch Butterfly Food (earthelixir.ca)
- How about growing this: Milkweeds (naturesurrounds.wordpress.com)
- Population of Monarch butterflies has crashed (winonadailynews.com)
- Outside: How to find and identify milkweeds (readingeagle.com)
- Bees in the milkweed (retrieverman.net)
- Milkweeds and Butterflies (therousedbear.wordpress.com)
- Common Milkweed (redroadherbs.wordpress.com)