which milkweed is bad for monarchs

If your plants were eaten to the ground, healthy new growth should emerge for the next monarchs to start their life cycle. Hi Scott, the immediate issue I see with this research is that syriaca isn’t a viable speices in late summer and fall because the leaves are too tough…it’s an excellent early milkweed though! When you say our tropical milkweed plants should be cut to the ground do you mean that literally or maybe leave 3 or 4 nodes above ground and be certain to remove all leaves? Monarch’s appear to prefer the tropical over the local Common by a 4:1 margin measured by where I find the eggs and caterpillars. * Provide other flowering species to feed butterflies, from spring through fall. The milkweed being discussed was the tropical variety most widely available in the usual stores, Asclepias curassavica, known commonly as Scarlet or Tropical milkweed. Tropical milkweed is not a monarch killer. When I saw that the winter months did not slow down any Monarch activity, I knew I needed more milkweed to meet their voracious demand. It also supplies end of the year nectar for numerous other butterfly species, insects, bumble bees, solitary bees and is a pollen source for bees. This way, there’ll always be some milkweed available for unexpected monarch visitors. Freaked me out. Such as has happened (his example – and well under way – was the loss of our pine forests to the pine beetle because the winters are no longer cold enough for a long enough period of time to kill off the larvae). Our areas “usual fall migration” monarchs come trough around September and we released in the early days of October. Once your season slows down is a good time to cut back plants. Hi Randy, OE would be a potential issue for your Calotropis species too, because it’s a continuous growing plant in a continuous growing region…I have not seen the ‘white’ monarchs personally, but have seen photos. We have been a resource for interested active people wanting to help the Monarch and restore its “NATURAL” habitat for the past 13 years. OE exists even without ASCLEPIAS CURASSAVICA. You name call people who have presented science, your answer apparently to not being able to present anything in response except your dogmatic determination to do what you like and still try to pretend to have monarchs interest at heart. And, I watched wasps bite into 5th instar larva and destroy it. Even then, Johnson says, it takes a long time for a native milkweed to develop into a large enough and mature enough plant to sustain monarch caterpillars and rebound from their exfoliation. If you raise monarchs you could always cut back your tropical now and use the cuttings to feed these final monarchs. I’m really glad you addressed this. Many milkweed varieties do not support monarchs well or become more toxic over time. You can position a leaf closer to where they are, but I would not move them. Viridis and asperula are also supposed to be popular host plants in Texas. Perhaps most famously, milkweed species serve as the host plant for the monarch butterfly. We help distribute millions of milkweed seeds across North America. I will keep trying to encourage the A. tuberosa and incarnata, and will continue to let the A. syriaca run rampant, but for consistent fall nectar production, ideal balance of robustness and manageability, and eye appeal, the A. curassavica is the real winner. Hey, here’s a shout-out to Angie Luebben…….YOU GO GaLl!!! Besides, it's another excuse to go plant shopping. I used to get rid of them because they were destroying my cabbage and broccoli, but they are butterflies, so now that I am trying to be a sanctuary, how can I kill them? Thank you. Monarchs favor a variety of milkweeds, and in fact, with variety they’ll lay more eggs. People need to work together to save the Monarch. I intend to cut all the milkweed back in a couple weeks gathering as many seeds as I can. It is Tall White Aster, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum , and the good news is, it is actually what the Monarchs need more at certain times of the year than Asclepias. As a nectar flower, I’ve heard better things about it and hope I’m able to report some success with it this season. THANKS PAUL C. FOR THE INFO ALSO. I would like to have milkweed plants for Monarch butterflies. OR — he could be lost and starving and can’t find his way back to the milkweed leaves. Please help. Your system sounds fine. I’m not sure of the success rates but I’m guessing you would need an environment similar to what they experience overwintering in the wild for optimum health…glad to hear you will be cutting back your milkweed this season. We don’t get snow here. I’m making the fourth attempt with seeds kept indoors, and so far, so good. Here is more info about treating plants with hydrogen peroxide: “What has always bothered me about the tropical milkweed issue, is that none of the potential solutions are discussed.”. * Select milkweed plants that have aphids on them. I generally cut my plants back every 2 to 3 months , generally to control aphid from spreading to adjacent milkweed plants. D. erippus learned how to deal with tropical milkweed. The eggs are always left on the Swamp Milkweed leaves and brought indoors into sterile containers where I can monitor their progress. All around it are tropical milkweeds, both the orange flower and the showy red, they are doing great and I do get frost in the winter, late in the season, last year the frost wiped out my tropical milkweed, though now most are coming back and the reseeds are sprouting too. I have been harassed to no end by my native plant groups to which I belong and am on the boards. During the spring and summer, they go to all the milkweeds, because it’s all fresh growth. I had never had this problem using wild milkweed varieties up east, or in Florida. A Few Bad Milkweeds They love it! It almost seems that re-growing this plant for another bloom or two is more important than Monarchs themselves. In S Florida, can we use tropical milkweed year-round without bringing them indoors? Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) What I can offer are personal observations made in the milkweed patches on our property in NE CO. To begin with I have stands of A. tuberosa, A. speciosa, A. incarnata and also grow the non-native A. curassavica. Hi Linda, we grow showy and stiff goldenrod (which monarchs rarely visit), 4 types of sedum, and New York Asters along with many other native plants. Tropical milkweed may persist beyond the season of most native I don’t want this to happen again, so I have several species of native milkweeds planted and hope they come up this spring. Eventually the natives were eaten back and have not recovered. : I get this question a lot, and I’m not sure there’s a perfect answer. Having read over this twoyear long thread, I was rather annoyed by the few defenders of science who display a non-scientific attitude. Through the spring and early summer, we had plenty of butterflies visiting, but never seemed to find larvae. 2016 Update- with more gardeners planting tropical milkweed, the overwintering population in Mexico grew 3.5 times: from 57 million monarchs…to 200 million! Thanks Tony G. Great Article and great feedback. I have spent all of winter 2016-2017 bringing these poor babies in the house, hand feeding water & fruit to the ones who could feed, and providing safety & warmth to the ones that could not take nourishment. ~MaMa Monarch. Over the years (I have lived here well over 30 years) we would go to the Sanctuary in the winter to see the immense amount of Monarchs all in clusters hanging from the eucalyptus trees. But it would also be terrible to pick up an already-pupating caterpillar and remove him from his location of choice and put him back where he started on the milkweed plants. Liriomyza asclepiadis is the specific species of leaf miner that feeds on … Large milkweed bugs are herbivorous - they feed on the leaves, stems, and seeds of milkweed using their long proboscis. However, your milkweed was not the plant in question. I have a friend who wants to “Johnny Appleseed” the milkweed to “help” the Monarchs, which – with all I have learned about OE – is a terrifying plan, one that she will hopefully decide against. Because the Monarchs here in So. Baby plants must be protected from an aphid infestation organically until they are big enough to withstand the pests. Absolutely not…but I think it’s a solution that more people are open to hearing since they’re not being told what to do and judged for it when they don’t comply. I will probably do that if it looks like there is going to be a cold snap. When freezing weather was predicted I brought her and her nectar sponge indoors and set up a retreat in our spare bathroom for her where she lived two more weeks before passing. While there is plenty of science for all to read, people can read and make up their own minds, I stopped at this website because it appeared an importabt conversation was taking place. And that is their choice…, Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Tony. When monarchs hatch with deformed wings, this usually indicates high levels of OE. I did read about cutting them to the ground every season. Later in the day that milkweed pod had split and the caterpillar had disappeared. I am going to plant tropical again this year after thinking long and hard about it this winter. I have raised monarchs since 1969. Late in September this year I started to see a Monarch every day. I agree 100% with your comments, and I’ve never suggested that planting tropical milkweed in roadside ditches is a viable option. There was no OE epidemic nor any disruption of the annual North-South migration cycles or the winter clustering phenomenons. Debi. So far I’ve noted that EVERY ONE of the events he warned about has come to pass exactly on the timetable he laid out. They seem to really like it, and it is the only plant we have that I’ve found eggs and caterpillars on. Under these conditions, tropical milkweed produces higher cardenolide concentrations. This can be a somewhat noxious weed here in the SF bay area, even with the climate being essentially the opposite of what the plant would naturally experience. Spraying the plants would be detrimental to the caterpillars. Hi Michael, thank you for your comment. its a great book, but very science orientated. The article is titled Is Tropical Milkweed Killing Monarch Butterflies? The first word indicates the plant genus and the second name indicates the plant species. Wait we have seen science like that lots of times. However, it’s important to note there is currently no conclusive data telling us if/how much this is happening. While these issues are still being studied, some are calling for a moratorium on tropical milkweed and lesser known non-natives that could potentially pose the same threat. Planting milkweed is the most effective way to help because it is the only plant that sustains a monarch through each of its life stages. I try to offer people options instead of ultimatums, but some people have issues with the responsible gardening approach. Monarch butterfly caterpillar on milkweed, its host plant. It is delicious to snails, and doesn’t make it past the seedling stage. I was under the impression, since I live in the Houston area, that the only milkweed that does well here is the tropical milkweed. It works for me. I have raised monarchs for over 30 years. You can find them on my milkweed resources Page: Here is a list of potential milkweed species to try in your region: It has been hypothesized that the planting of tropical milkweeds at temperate zone latitudes such as along the California coast could have important health and reproductive physiology consequences for diapausing monarch migratory populations: http://monarchjointventure.org/our-work/assessment-of-exotic-milkweeds-and-the-spread-of-disease-in-monarchs, However, there is a lot of real world case history evidence (e.g. If they are hanging upside down, well obviously they’re well on their way, or if there are silks around them and they’re beginning to attach themselves in place, well duh, I get it. Decision Science, Maryland. Kevin, I raise caterpillars on leaves, cuttings, and potted plants. You’re reading a lot into two words Deanna…Respectfully, the selfish gardener, Deanne (Not to be confused with Deanna) says. Which milkweeds to grow My micro-climate is actually better for the tropical, being warm but somewhat wet (coastal fog) than for the native (heart leaf) that is better up in the mountains where it is hotter and dryer. I actually like tropical milkweed and have planted it three seasons in a row here in Maryland. That puts people on the defensive, & doesn’t help at all. I try to give them a variety. Science is presently in a state of crisis due to its failure (p-values [probability values]to replicate). Is this your argument? Your photo is fantastic! After reading the article you referenced and others, I came to the same conclusion you did. * Randy Johnson of Randy Johnson Organics will have at least six native milkweed species for sale in quart pots by mid-June. We live in the Bay Area of California and launch 20-50 monarchs from our kitchen every year with only two or three that fail to thrive or fail to launch. 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