Monarch Success! & Plant of the Month: Goldenrod

11 Oct

2 of my favorite things about a East coast garden in one article!

Sustainable Landscaping in Richmond, VA

Last month we explained the important relationship between Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) and late summer blooming plants such as Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium/Eupatorium spp.).  Just to reinforce the importance of correct plant pairings we would like to share the results of an area we planted this year for the Monarchs.

Monarch caterpillar on Asclepias incarnataMonarch caterpillar & Echinacea 'White Swan'

For this test we used the two most common types of Milkweed found at garden centers (Asclepias tuberosa & incarnata).  During the month of August over 50 Monarch caterpillars were counted!  Multiple chrysalis were found and many mature butterflies were spotted Monarch butterfly on Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)collecting pollen.  Out of the two varieties of Asclepias used, Swamp Milkweed (Asc. incarnata) was by far the favorite.  In fact we never once saw a monarch caterpillar on the tuberosa species.  For nectar sources we planted many Eutrochium and Eupatorium species as well as other summer and fall blooming perennials.  As is apparent in nature, diversity is the key!…

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