Late Season Monarchs and Milkweed

Question
“I took one of your classes at PVNC and enjoyed the tour of your backyard BF garden.  Like everything, my Swamp Milkweed bloomed early, and now is full of milkweed pods.  I’ve seen a few Monarchs flitting around.  One landed on my Eastern Blazing Star.  My question is this…….Will Monarchs find the milkweed without the blooms to lay their eggs?”

Answer

Monarchs will find your milkweed without the blooms, but the situation is changing right now – September 16th.

Monarchs are migrating through St. Louis down to Mexico and these “youngsters” are not laying eggs.
There may be a few older monarchs around that still will be laying eggs though, so it’s nice to have some new fresh milkweed.
While Monarchs can lay eggs on older milkweed, they prefer new leaves and plants.

I’d recommend planting tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, next year. I start mine indoors from seed in March.
It’s an annual so you need to save seed every year for next years crop.

Tropical milkweed is blooming now and will attract migrating Monarchs to your yard.
They won’t however be interested in your older non-blooming swamp milkweed.

 

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Filed under Butterfly Gardening, Milkweed, Monarchs

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