By now, most people are aware that the Monarch butterfly requires milkweed. The adult butterfly needs nectar, and can get this from a variety of blooming plants. The larval form is a caterpillar and needs to munch on the leaves of a milkweed plant.
Here’s a run-down on the milkweeds we offer, all of which provide both nectar and larval food for monarchs. The caterpillars are voracious eaters and will consume plenty of leaves, which will not harm the plant.
Butterfly milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa: Bright orange flower. Give this plant a hot dry sunny site. Will not grow in clay. Pictured above.
Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata: Does NOT require a swamp! Grows in average garden soil, full sun. It will tolerate wet soil. Mauve, fragrant flower. We also offer a selection with a white flower.
Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca: A large plant that will take over a small garden. Good for fields or large plantings. Mauve, fragrant flower. These are very late to break dormancy and will not be available for purchase for a few more weeks.
Monarchs will also visit many other flowers for nectar, a few of which are listed below.
Phlox- We have spcies for both sun and shade.
Goldenrod – It doesn’t cause allergies, stay tuned for later newsletter on this topic.
Lobelia – Either the blue or the red, both prefer a little shade.
Joe Pye Weed – A butterfly magnet and a tall statement in your garden.
Coneflower – Several species are available.
Asters – Fall bloomers for sunny spot.
Brown-eyed Susan – A dainty perennial favorite for sun.