Slice of Life: Ready for Monarchs

Today’s post will be short for Slice of Life Tuesday. I’ve been taking photos in my yard (again) and noted that my milkweed has germinated. Milkweed is a perennial plant and germinates around this time of year in Wisconsin. I make daily rounds looking for it in my yard. I’ve also reported my findings to Journey North, as a citizen scientist, since 2006.

While there’s been a little disappointment in that my large patch of common milkweed has not germinated (as of yet, anyway), I did spot three other germinating patches. One is in the outdoor screened enclosure my husband made for me last year. This is butterfly weed or Asclepias tuberosa. I’ve never had this type of milkweed in my yard and since it is shorter and bushier, I thought it would be a great addition to the enclosure.

Rose milkweed in my yard. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2020.

My rose milkweed Asclepias incarnata has not yet appeared yet, either. This patch did not attract many monarchs last year and I wondered at the time if the plants were not doing well. It has done so well in the past, and the blooms are vibrant pink, I planted more. The new plants have germinated. The blooms on the new plants are white. So, I’ll be able to tell if the soulmate (rose) variety of Asclepias incarnata has also sprouted come late summer. Another name for this milkweed is swamp milkweed and as the name implies it likes the soil kind of boggy.

Asclepias incarnata (white) in my yard. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2018.

Finally, common milkweed has sprouted in the ditch by our mailbox and in the field next to our home. It will proliferate and attract monarchs well into the early fall. I have come to love this plant.

Over the last 18 years, I’ve raised monarchs and spoken to numerous schools and community groups about monarch habitat restoration, conservation, and implementation. It is a passion of mine that sprouts every year at this time. You can look forward to many more posts about monarchs in the months to come on my blog.

The milkweed has sprouted – we are on our way for 2021! Welcome Monarchs!

If you click on the links in this post, you will go to reputable pages about the milkweeds listed. It is important to plant milkweed native to your area of the country and not plant tropical milkweed. If you need more assistance finding what is native to your area, please contact me through the comments on the blog. I’d be glad to help!

Today is Slice of Life Tuesday. Thank you to TwoWritingTeachers.org for creating and hosting this weekly forum.

All photos (whether watermarked or not) are copyrighted by Carol Labuzzetta. No permission exists to duplicate in any form without express permission from her. Thank you!

9 thoughts

    1. Yes, I would definitely add milkweed. Swallowtails like dill. Anything native would be great. I know you could find this on your own (writing books – historical fiction books – takes a lot of research, I know. But, this is my gig – so to speak – so I just pulled up a plant list for Indiana from Purdue’s extension. https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/POL-6/POL-6.pdf It might be “too much info” but will help if you can read the tiny print! So happy you’re doing this! Have fun!

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      1. I definitely wouldn’t call this my area of expertise so I very much appreciate you passing along the info! 🙂 I’m going to print it off and have it on hand for current and future endeavors!

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  1. Hooray for milkweed! Hooray for monarchs! This week was a banner week at our school because the first and second graders had painted lady butterflies to release. Oh, the wonder of it all! And…thank you for the tips about planting native milkweed. That’s an important consideration that I don’t think I would have thought of had you not mentioned it.

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    1. Thanks, Tim. We went from sun and 70 degrees yesterday to 42 and raining today. Some local folks I know have spotted monarchs. I’m still waiting….with these cold days, it will be a while. Still, we need the rain (it’s been dry here). And the rain will help my milkweed grow. It’s all good!

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  2. Carol, I am fascinated by your extensive knowledge about plantings and monarchs. My new perennial bed has been constructed and I started with some old favorites and new additions that I did not have in my Long Island garden. I would love to learn more. Can you suggest what I should add to my Virginia garden?

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    1. Carol, thanks so much for the kind words! You inspired my blog piece today! I hope you can check it out – I provided some resources for Virginia that you might find helpful, as well as resources people might use no matter where they live. Having never lived that far south I did not offer specific suggestions, but the resources I included do provide that information. My biggest hint: plant natives! I hope you are doing well and getting settled. What a move! I think of you often!

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