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Select the Right Milkweed

In the Garden by Jaret C. Daniels "Select the Right Milkweed for Your Butterfly Garden" from the Daily Sun

Caterpillar of the Monarch Butterfly

Caption: "Many gardeners plant milweed in their landscapes to help provide needed foor for the hungry monarch larvae."

The three native milkweeds that are recommended for homeowner landscapes in Central FL are Asclepias incarnata, A. perennis, and A. tuberosa.

Here is a brief summary of the article:

In the spring, monarch butterflies leave their winter sites and fly north. In order to propagate they need to lay eggs on specific larval host plants. In Florida, there are also a small resident group of monarchs.

The author explains why tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), the most widely available commercial species, may not be the best plant to use in our area.

He recommends "going native" and planting some of the 21 varieties of Florida native milkweeds - Asclepia incarnata, aquatic or white swamp milkweed (A. perennis) and butterflyweed (A. tuberrosa). All are beautiful plants which thrive in our area.

If you pair your milkweed with other flowering plants you will have your own oasis for monarch butterflies.

Related Links:

Article from Sumter County Master Gardeners by Nini Connor, 2020 President TVFNPS Selecting Plants for Pollinators

More on the negative effects of Tropical Milkweed

A video from Al and Joan on how they raised seven monarchs on their lanai.

Suggestions from Lloyd Singleton, Sumter County Extension Agent, on creating a butterfly garden.

NOVA special on the migration of the Monarch Butterfly - World's Most Beautiful Butterflies ( Full Documentary)

FNPS You Tube How to Identify Milkweeds

Find Milkweed Plants

  • Local nurseries
  • Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN) State-wide list of native plant nurseries and the plants they have for sale. Use the Latin name not the common name in the search tool.

 

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