Grow Some Weed in Your Garden. (Milkweed of course!)

I have no idea what YOU were thinking!

But seriously, back to milkweed. Butterfly gardens are fairly popular and if you want to have butterfly loving plants in part of your flower garden, please don’t forget to add milkweed.

Milkweed is the only food of the Monarch butterfly larvae. After migrating North from Mexico Monarch butterflies would love to stop and feed in your butterfly garden and if you have milkweed, they’ll lay eggs during their stopover.

You know those kits you get that come with a coupon to send away for a butterfly cacoon so you can watch the process of metamorphosis? How about going to your backyard, finding a caterpillar and bringing it inside to raise and watch turn into a butterfly?

The kids were thrilled with their pet caterpillars. Every day they’d go out and harvest leaves from our milkweed plants to give them.

When they are getting ready to start to pupate (is that a word?) they crawl up on a branch and hang upside down.

See the little gold crown? Every one has this and I’m always amazed by it. Monarch indeed!

Almost there!

After release

You can find lots of great information about monarchs, butterfly gardening, and the monarch tagging program at http://monarchwatch.org/ You can even get a sign!

Various species of milkweed grow wild throughout the country.  I’ve planted butterfly milkweed purchased from a Grow Native dealer locally (Prairie Wetland Center in the KC area).   The monarch watch site does sell seed packets.  It IS a weed, so surely it can’t be that difficult to grow from seed?

Monarch Watch is hosting an open house this Saturday and they will be selling several varieties of milkweed http://monarchwatch.org/openhouse/.  Stop by and get some weed for your garden!

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3 thoughts on “Grow Some Weed in Your Garden. (Milkweed of course!)

  1. We call milkweeds swanplants here – they all do the job though! I love monarch butterflies chrysalis’s, they’re stunning. Gorgeous photos! I have a sad story – once we tried this as kids, and the caterpillar formed the chrysalis on the side of the box. I guess our twigs weren’t big enough. It was deformed because of it, and my dad had to step on it. 😦 Branches in boxes are important it turns out -poor butterfly. You guys look right on track! (esp the patio being close to the garden hehehe)

      • In a selfish way, that makes me feel better! Like maybe we weren’t the world’s worst butterfly parents ever. Thanks! It may just be a NZ name, its a strange name. Milkweed makes more sense.

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