Lay off the coffee. We know. Monday came all to soon. Feels like just yesterday and here she comes again. But while you're in the kitchen prepping dinner asking the kids if they've Got Milk? The butterflies are floating around the 'hood asking if you've Got Milkweed?
There's nothing like a cure to your case of the Mondays like the scene of monarch butterflies posing on your flowers while you soak up a little vitamin D. And milkweed will surely do the trick. Asclepias tuberosa is the perennial's scientific name. You can find this plant at Garden Supply Company or most local garden supply stores in your area under that name. It's a little hard pronounce. So if you're doing the asking, bring in this image or ask for the Butterfly Milkweed, Butterflyweed, Orange Milkweed, Pleurisy Root or Chigger Flower. Most any name will do. We have a table full of flowers that are sure to attract pollinators like butterflies. This is one place where you'll find ours.
In case you were wondering, monarch butterflies (pictured above) are the big orange and black winged creatures that drift around our area in late summer and early fall during their trek South. Those monarchs that you see during the summer will most likely only live a few weeks but those that are born closer to fall will make a great migration from as far as North as Canada to as far South as Mexico.
At one point (around 20 years ago), somewhere around one billion monarchs made this trek across the country. Today, only around 150 million of this particular butterfly make the migration. It's said that loss of habitat and food sources are big contributing factors in the reduced number of monarchs. So what can we do to help? Plant that milkweed!
Milkweed grows tall with slender green leaves throughout the early summer and produces beautiful firework-like, orange flowers in the later summer that can grow as large a five inches wide. And here's another interesting fact for your Monday...
Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed.
So in order for those little beasts to turn into these beauties, they need a little help. There are plenty of varieties of milkweed to choose from. Other milkweed varieties are pink and are a preferred host plant for our neighborhood monarchs too.
So take our advice. Plant a little milkweed here and there in your garden. Before you know it, you'll be singing: My milkweed brings all the butterflies to the yard!