The latest data from Mexico shows the Monarch population is down 26% from the previous year.
If you’d like to provide support for the Monarchs as they come north, you need to plant as much milkweed as possible. Here are some varieties that I have tried in the past.
Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias incarnata
Does best it wet soil, but will grow for three years in typical garden soil. Save the seeds and replant in the fall or start inside after cold stratification. If you have large clumps, you can also separate them as new plants. This is the one milkweed in St. Louis that will come up and be available for egg laying in April.
Butterfly Weed – Asclepias tuberosa
Does best in poor dry soil. Like lots of sun.
Tropical Milkweed – Asclepias curassavica
Easy to grow annual. I start these seeds around March 15th to have plants ready for Monarchs around April 15th.
Common Milkweed – Asclepias syriaca
While this plant is easy to grow in almost any setting, it does wander all over the garden and out into the yard. If you have the space where it can wander then give it a try. I took mine out. I’ve grown it in a large pot for a couple of years, but it died out.
Other Milkweeds I have tried, but without long-term success.
- Asclepias-exaltata Poke milkweed
- Asclepias hirtella – Tall Green Milkweed
- Asclepiad purpurescens – Purple Milkweed – lovely, but doesn’t last.
- Asclepias Speciosa -Showy Milkweed
- Asclepias sullivantii – Sullivans Milkweed
- Asclepias verticillata Whorled Milkweed