I know its officially spring and were all pounding on nursery doors anxious to plant some California native milkweed to help the endangered Western monarch. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves.
Milkweed is the cornerstone of a successful butterfly garden and planting a mix of both native and non-invasive annuals will entice more monarchs to enter your garden gates.
How to plant milkweed for monarch butterflies. Butterfly fans take a breath. Monarchs favor a variety of milkweeds and in fact with variety theyll lay more eggs. Seeds need a three-month period of exposure to cold cold stratification so it is a good practice to plant seeds in autumn.
If you need more ideas and inspiration for your butterfly garden sign up for our 100 free butterfly tips newsletter. If the seedlings make it start to transplant the 2-to-3-inch plants with the intact rootball after the danger of frost has passed. The monarchs top 4 favorite milkweed species are bolded in the list below.
Instead plant the seeds in the late autumn or winter. Eggs are often tiny and can be on the underside of the leaf. It doesnt need to be fertilized.
Seedlings may take a long time to emerge or not grow at all. Make Way for Milkweed. A few days after the milkweed has sprouted it is time to place the pots into the soil.
It is not picky about soil. After eggs hatch caterpillars start to feed and quickly meet the plants first defense. Milkweed seeds can be collected from existing plants or purchased from commercial suppliers.
If you head outdoors and plant perennial milkweed seeds in the spring youll have little to no luck getting them to germinate. However when given a choice their favorite milkweed by far is the Asclepias incarnata common name. Make sure to pick the type of milkweed that is most suitable for your area.
When germinating indoors let the seedlings reach 1 before planting in soil spacing the individual plants 18 inches apart. Although watching adult butterflies flutter by can be quite rewarding it is essential that growers also consider plants for monarch caterpillars. Place the bag in a refrigerator for 2-4 weeks.
Milkweed leaves are covered in thousands of tiny hairs called trichomes that the caterpillar needs to. Scatter six to eight milkweed seeds into the pot and cover the seeds with more soil. 5 hours agoFor example monarch butterflies require milkweed.
When the egg hatches the caterpillars begin to feed and will grow rapidly. Container plants can be planted in spring but it is advisable to wait until the threat of spring frosts has passed. Monarchs Favorite Milkweed.
The winner is the Asclepias incarnata common name. Milkweed is slow to germinate so cold-stratifying the seeds is a great idea. Most milkweeds are easy to start from seed if the seeds are exposed to cold temperatures.
Place the pots under a grow light or near a sunny window. When starting the plant water regularly but allow the soil to go nearly dry between each watering. And once the plants are established they do not need to.
5 hours agoA 12-year-old Dartmouth NS girl is growing and giving away hundreds of milkweed plants so endangered monarch butterflies have somewhere. Heres how to do it. Simply sprinkle seeds onto a moist paper towel fold the towel and insert it into a plastic bag.
Monarch butterflies are unique in that the female will only lay eggs specifically on milkweed plants. Because it is a native plant provided you plant the right species milkweed is easy to grow. It requires full sun.
Growing milkweed is easy but a few tips can help you get the most out of each package of seed. When germinating in soil plant seeds ⅛ inch deep and 18 inches apart using 3 seeds per hole. Most milkweeds have long taproots that hate to be disturbed.
How to Grow Milkweed.