last year I planted a milkweed to attract monarchs. It grew well until the aphids came and decimated the plant. I cut it back and sent the nasty little %&()^%s of the yard waste bag. Will the milkweed come back or do I move on to something else like Joe Pye weed? Thanks much, Did Dig
Common milkweed? It’s a member of the Asclepias. They’re perennial. Actually, getting rid of milkweed from somewhere you don’t want it is the hard part. Any bit of root left will pop up another plant.
Yep. Just what you’re thinking. You might end up with more than one milkweed this year. If not this year, next year.
It’s neat to watch the caterpillars. If you’re lucky you can find and protect the cocoons over the winter.
Thanks Paul. You are right, there are new shoots coming up from the old mother plant. Perhaps with the late spring I was expecting too much, too soon. I just hope the aphids stay away. Do you have any recommendations to deal with them if they return without using chemicals that may harm good bugs like the Monarch (which I still haven’t seen) I heard that cigarettes soaked in water with a bit of dish soap as a spray may work. Thoughts?
I don’t know. I’ve never had a problem with anything eating it other than the caterpillars.
I wouldn’t put anything on the milkweed because they’re host to eggs or caterpillars from start to finish. Even something like a dishwashing liquid spray to take out the aphids might be a problem for the eggs or caterpillars.
Not surprisingly there’s a website about them that describes their life cycle.
I’ve had good luck with neen oil. It’s a good fungicide and will kill the aphids without harming the butterflys (as long as you don’t spray them directly). The butterflies just fly away, but the nasty bugs can’t escape so easily!
The other thing I hear suggested a lot is just a strong spray with water, to knock them off. Theory is they won’t find their way back again.
Winter sowing in Folgers coffee cannisterz