"Got Milkweed?"

docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)July 23, 2013

We've started a new campaign! "Got Milkweed?" Everyone who lives anywhere will soon have a patch of milkweed somewhere on their property or in a pot on their balcony. A milkweed patch will be as ubiquitous as a television or couch. The measure of homeownership status will be the size of their milkweed patch. This is the new normal. It developed spontaneously out of the "Adopt a milkweed Newbie" thread on the butterfly forum. We're even thinking of making t-shirts or other paraphernalia to advertise the campaign, and "Got Milkweed?" will be our slogan or catch phrase. Join us and spread the word!

Martha

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a2zmom(6a - nj)

Perferct timing!

Not only do I have a large patch of milweed in my garden, but I dug out two seedlings and am giving them away today!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 7:09AM
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gazania_gw

Yes, I have lots of milkweed. Sadly, I have not seen even one Monarch this year. Last year, I had cats in early June! Sure hope the "Got Milkweed?" campaign helps!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 7:17AM
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debbiecz3(z3MB)

After planting milkweed three years ago I was thrilled to see monarch cats visiting. Last year None and so far this year none again. Sad state of affairs for the environment; bee populations dwindling as well. Lets hope things improve with your initiative. I will do my part to encourage others in my gardening circle to: ?Got Milkweed?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 8:56AM
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mulchmama

Yep! I collect seeds and get new plants each year! This is probablymy favorite plant in the garden! Here it is mixed with creeping thyme -- a really nice combination.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:36AM
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linlily(z5/6PA)

Does anyone have a picture of a seedling from A. Tuberosa? I was at my daughters home last night and saw several small seedlings that resemble her larger Asclepias. I have never had a single seedling from my Asclepias, but she seems to have several this year. I told her not to pull them until I can be sure that they are indeed baby butterfly weeds and not just any old weed.

This year, I have a Cinderella with pink flowers, as well as the orange Tuberosa blooming. I have not seen many butterflies this year, but am hoping to see more now that all of my butterfly bushes are also in bloom.

Linda

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 11:37AM
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mulchmama

Far lower lefthand corner of my photo -- I believe that's a volunteer coming up at the edge of the border.

One monarch so far this year. I'm very bad at identification, but I am seeing hundreds of small butterflies that vaguely resemble them, on the milkweed. Also, I've only seen a few black swallowtails.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:02PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I am already a Monarch Waystation, and raise and tag Monarchs, but am interested in getting even more involved in supporting the Monarchs. Love the slogan...

If you search google images Got milkweed, there are others who have the same idea. Bet we could come up with a more colorful bumper sticker, I would love to put one on my car.

The milkweed is doing pretty well this year. No Monarchs yet though. I am not panicking, 2 years ago I didn't see the first female in the yard until mid-August, but they have usually shown up by now.

Any property that provides a minimum number of Milkweeds, nectar plants, and trees/shrubs for roosting can apply to become a certified Monarch Waystation. I display the sign in the "xeric" garden next to the A. syriaca and A. tuberosa. People can read the sign from the sidewalk and street.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:45PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Saw two monarchs yesterday. No caterpillars on the milkweed.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:47PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Mulchmama I can't see a photo? Sometimes I think my computer does not show GW photos.

Linlily, here is a photo I took a few days ago. These are seedlings I winter-sowed this year using seeds from the yellow plant in the picture above ^^^. They are about 4-8 inches tall now. I might get a small bloom on the larger seedlings - dying to see if they will come out yellow!

Btw, Monarch females love to lay eggs on these small first year plants of Asclepias. I think the tender foliage on young plants is easier for the caterpillars to eat, also the low profile of the plants and lack of profuse flowering may help to evade predators (milkweed flowers attract wasps, which are predators of the Monarch larvae).

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 1:54PM
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mulchmama

Hmmm, I can see the photo, and it's uploaded right from my computer, not from any website. I can't explain why you can't see it.

Terrene, those are lovely seedlings, and they really do grow up fast. They will even bloom the first year. I just love these plants; nothing bothers them! They don't get hit with aphids, they don't mind a little drought, they don't demand a lot of food or attention. My kind of plant!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Campanula UK Z8

not monarchs over here, Docmom, but swallowtails, almost gone from GB apart from a couple of fens in Norfolk. The food plant is in the apiaceae family, peucedanum palustre aka milk parsley. Like you, we are sowing and growing, not just for the swallowtails but for other vanishing beauties, even the unassuming (unfortunately named) dingy skipper and the more glamorous fritillaries.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 5:34PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Here is a photo of very young seedlings of A tuberosa 'Gay Butterflies'. I just transplanted them into separate pots late yesterday. The seed leaves don't look like the true leaves, as I hope you can see. The first true leaves have the long slender look of A tuberosa. All the leaves on seedlings this young have a glossy look, rather than the rough texture on the older A tuberosa.

The oldest of these seedlings already had a root about 4 inches long! Really shocked me. I knew they should be transplanted into little pots quickly but I'd no idea how fast the root would develop.

Hope this helps.

Mary

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) - seedlings just transplanted 7-22-2013 - seed planted 7-11-2013

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 6:14PM
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GreatPlains1(7OK)

delete post

This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 5:19

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 6:42PM
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david883(5/6)

I'm on a mission to get some butterfly weed and some milk weed (I have a few spots planned for the butterfly weed and, as for the milk weed, I'll find a place lol). I love the looks of the plants and it makes it even better that monarchs love them too :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 7:50PM
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linlily(z5/6PA)

Thank you for your pictures, terrene and Mary. The small plants that are growing at my daughter's home look exactly like terrenes pictures. I'll tell her to leave them grow and maybe next season I can transplant some to my house and find homes for the rest. My daughter has two LARGE orange ones, so I would supposed these would be orange too. She also had a Monarch cat last season that progressed to a mature Monarch. My grand daughter so enjoyed watching the process and taking pictures.

I had no idea that it was easy to start butterfly weed from seeds. I had always thought it was difficult. After seeing all the seedlings at my daughter's home, and Mary's pictures, I think I might like to try it.

Love the bright color of the yellow butterfly weed, terrene.

Thanks again,
Linda

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 8:17PM
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rouge21_gw(5)

Here is mine:

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 8:34AM
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capecodder(z6 MA)

I have quite a bit of the orange butterfly weed, and it attracts asclepias bugs. They look like ladybugs but 10 times bigger.
Do any of you have them? Also have lots of milkweed mixed in one of my perennial beds, always hopeful it will attract monarchs.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:28AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

All of you are doing a wonderful job! This is exactly what all the beneficial pollinators need all over the world! Keep up the good work. Some folk over at the butterfly forum are making up some t-shirts for themselves, because they may have a news organization visit to observe the release of nearly 50 Monarch Butterflies that they've been raising from eggs. We're trying to see whether anyone has trademarked or copyrighted the phrase "Got Milkweed?" so we don't break any laws. If anyone happens to know anything about such issues, we'd welcome any guidance. We certainly are not trying to make a profit from any of this.

Martha

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 9:13AM
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mulchmama

I got impatient. I don't want to wait for asclepias seeds to germinate. Yesterday I ordered two dozen plants in 4" pots from Santa Rosa Gardens. Come on, fall planting!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:05AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

For those who can afford it, I would strongly encourage following Mulch Mamma's lead. Young plants that are put in the ground this fall will be large enough to bloom and produce seed for even more rapid expansion of milkweed patches.

Martha

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 1:38PM
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mulchmama

I'm starting to wonder what good it will do...I was out in the garden for six hours today and didn't see one butterfly of any kind. No hummingbirds either. All I see are the very small butterflies that somewhat resemble monarchs -- don't know what those are.

It was depressing. But I will plant for them anyway. Hope springs eternal.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 3:25PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

mulchmama, my butterflies are just beginning to show up. So far I've seen Eastern yellow swallowtails, hummingbird moths and various skippers.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 3:33PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I've been seeing small cute little golden/orange butterflies most of the season, followed by one sole Swallowtail that was around for a few weeks, and today I saw one sole Monarch for the first time. I'm hoping they were late and I will see more.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 3:57PM
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mulchmama

No summer is complete for me until I see a hummingbird moth! Now that I think of it, everything is running late this year, at least three weeks late. Even my boltonias and fall blooming asters, which usually bloom in mid-July (drives me crazy) aren't blooming yet.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 4:28PM
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Campanula UK Z8

a lot of butterflies are just going into their second brood cycle over here - the meadows and woods were absolutely stiff with the usual suspects - ringlets, gatekeepers, meadow browns, red and white admirals, small torties, chalkhill blues, small heaths, commas, peacocks and even a purple emperor flitting about the treetops. Did manage to see 1 huge swallowtail (had to chase through tall willowherb for about 15 minutes before it settled). We do sometimes see both monarchs and mourning cloaks (which we call Camberwell Beauties) as rare migrants.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 5:52PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

I saw a mourning cloak for the first and only time a few years ago. He was just hanging out on my Rhodie foliage, letting the world pass him by.

They are very long lived for butterflies - almost a year.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Has anyone tried winter sowing a. incarnata?

I've done a lot of winter sowing, mostly years ago, and had planned to collect seeds from my three purchased a. incarnata plants and one volunteer. So I should have plenty of seeds and hoped to do a mix of scattering them and winter sowing.

It seems like these would be perfect for ws, and terrene, I'm glad to read that it worked well for a. tuberosa, and really glad to read that the monarchs liked the small, new plants so much.

Also, for anyone who has direct sown these, did you do it in fall or wait until spring?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 7:37PM
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hostaholic2 z 4, MN

I just let Mother Nature take care of the seeding and germination. I dug and potted about 20 incarnata seedlings and gave them away. I saw my 1st cat today, have only seen 3 or 4 monarchs so far this summer.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 11:20PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Ruth,
I've wintersown A incarnata several times and had different results each time. Once, great results, once so-so results, and once dismal results. Don't know why the variation. I get volunteers every year, but some years hundreds, and other years, a few. I'd definitely try wintersowing, but also direct sowing, if you have enough seeds.

Martha

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 6:43PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Martha,

Thanks, that's helpful. I'll gather as many seeds as I can and definitely try both direct sowing and winter sowing.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 8:30PM
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Sammywillt(NC IOWA . 4)

I don't know the name but I have thousands of milk weed , in all states of growth , growing in my ditches . When you get that many blooming at the same time , the smell is incredible .Its a rare site to see monarchs tho. and when you do they are not on the milk weed but a diff. type of plant .

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 5:12PM
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Sammywillt(NC IOWA . 4)

my photobucket is down :( only one pic. at a time .
This is the plant they eat and lay eggs on in my ditch . Look close and you can see that a milkweed plant is growing - untouched - right beside it .

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 5:19PM
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Sammywillt(NC IOWA . 4)

If someone wants, I would grab some pods when they are ready .These bugs are the only thing I ever see on the milkweed .

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 5:24PM
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a2zmom(6a - nj)

One small portion of my milweed patch had red aphids last night. I neemed the whole plant so I'm hoping that stops them in their tracks.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 5:46PM
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