Until they are about eight inches tall, milkweed shoots make a delicious boiled vegetable. Interplanting different crops can help marking the rows, especially when combining fast germinators such as radishes, with slower ones such as lettuce. Most young milkweed plants will need about a foot of space between them to allow for healthy growth. Hi Pam, we actually have some purple coneflowers with common milkweed this year, but I’ll have to give “them” the credit for growing together. Fortunately, within the past few days, I have finally noticed eggs and caterpillars in various sizes on a lot of my plants. Other compact butterfly bush varieties would look good too. ... Sweet basil repels aphids, asparagus beetles, mosquitoes and mites, and stunts the growth of milkweed bugs. Swamp Milkweed with Swamp Milkweed ‘ice ballet’, Monarch Butterfly Kits to Raise Caterpillars into Butterflies, 25 Milkweed Plant Ideas for North American Butterfly Gardens, Winter Sowing Milkweed Seeds Part 1: Supply Checklist. The dark green leaves of the ballon plant and the vibrant yellow of sunflowers contrast beautifully. The milkweed flower is a mysteriously complex design of symmetry as well as highly specialized access to the garden insects and other aviary visitors. Traditionally the leaves are tied together to blanch the inner midribs, for vegetable use, but for ornamental impact leave them loose. They devoured the plant and are off turning into butterfly! Have you gotten any word of pour germination. Asclepias viridis (spider milkweed) is a spring blooming milkweed with thicker leaves that a hungry cat can appreciate. You will be interested to know that Kew Gardens renamed the balloon plant which you refer to as Asclepias physocarpa as Gomphocarpus physocarpus – so some people might find it on sale with the latter name. I find that if I only water in the morning, that stops it. Tropical milkweed can also be potted annually and moved around to complement the butterfly weed. I’m happy if our tropical is 4 feet up north. This gorgeous plant provides food for humans as well as the treasured monarch butterfly; John and I had been foraging for its shoots, flower buds, and young pods at a few local spots for several years. Hi Tony, I am a butterfly enthusiast that lives in sunny south Florida! Companion Plant and Garden Design. So when selecting companion plants, it's necessary to consider whether their needs are compatible with those of the sages you plan to grow. I have always enjoyed providing milkweed for my favorite butterfly, the majestic Monarch. Hi Jacqui, this info was updated on the website a long time ago, but I missed the update on this page…thanks! When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Usually, I would be caught running out to a local nursery to buy additional milkweed plants in an emergency when my hungry caterpillars would strip my existing plants of all their leaves. With over 140 known species of Asclepias, only 30 nurture the monarchs. I read about the monarch ageratum and it sounds like a nice little plant that we would like to try. The bad news is that in NY they tended to mildew in Summer. Butterflies, pollinators and goldfinch love them. Companion planting helps suppressing weeds. Potatoes with leafy vegetables, followed by green beans and Chinese cabbage or spinach. What are some of, Valentine Gift Ideas for a Butterfly Lover, Start or Improve your Monarch Butterfly Garden, Butterfly Garden Book for Monarchs- Instant Download, Top Tools, Supplies, and Resources for Raising Monarch Butterflies, 1. Companion plants will either help a specific crop grow or will grow better beside a specific crop, and can do many support jobs in the garden: Repel insect pests . Both are shorter milkweed varieties that top out around 3 feet. I have other swamp weeds in the blue garden with mallow and vinca, purple, coral and red porterweeds. Monarchs on the west coast and in New Zealand will eat tweedia leaves (Oxypetalum caeruleum), but the jury’s still out on whether monarchs will deposit eggs on it in other regions. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on just one type of plant, and that’s milkweed (genus Asclepias). As you might imagine, butterfly weed is a great companion plant because it draws in pollinators and beneficial insects. 3 Big Advantages of Winter Sown Milkweed + Winter Sowing Container ideas, In our garden, we have stand alone milkweed patches, Don’t forget butterfly weed also comes in sunny, There are many other milkweed companions that work well together in butterfly gardens. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. They both keep away a large variety of garden pests, and provide a bright colourful addition to the garden. She works as a freelance copywriter, editor, translator, and content strategist. In our northern region, I prefer wild ageratum because it comes back in spring (by seed) and flowers all season. Unfortunately, milkweed often has a bad reputation. I like it because the prongs add visual appeal to the garden and it attracts TONS of pollinators…top 3 butterfly plant every season. Plant both butterfly host plants and nectar sources; There are a variety of plants that you can choose from to attract butterflies, such as Black-Eyed Susan, (Rudbeckia hirta) Firebush, (Hamelia patens), or Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) to name a few. Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together. Do the plants you are suggesting as companion plants also provide nectar for Monarchs? Hi Brian, I would update this article, but also post it on my butterfly garden plants page. So far I have 10 . However, if you are worried and have some seeds you could always try putting them in the refrigerator: Balloon milkweed was reclassified as a Gomphocarpus species about 20 years ago. The two species of milkweed from Africa that are available in the USA are G. fruticosus (swan-shaped fruit) and G. physocarpus (the larger fruit, rounded). Find suitable milkweed plants for this here. I have just discovered this site and am loving all the helpful info I have found so far and thought someone here might know the answer. Companion plants will either help a specific crop grow or will grow better beside a specific crop, and can do many support jobs in the garden: Repel insect pests . drayven. Can I plant milkweed near my garden? Since milkweed is sometimes considered an unwanted specimen in the landscape, and can be invasive, we might consider growing milkweed in a pot. I will post more info on it soon…. Parsley and mint are also good companion herbs for tomatoes and deter a number of pests. Generally, plants that compete because of similar nutrient needs, water, space—aboveground and below with their root systems—as well as sunlight should not be planted next to each other. I’ve found that Queen of the Prairie ( a very striking but under-used plant ), Purple Coneflower, Common Milkweed, and Swamp Milkweed make a nice combination in shades of pink with different heights and textures. Just as there are plants that make good neighbors, there are also no-noes. I’m giving it one more year to redeem itself. However, understanding your garden as a system of biodiversity where plants are all connected and interdependent of each other helps you make better plant choices. Purchase Spider and Whorled Milkweed Here. This spring/summer, it appeared that I was ahead of the game. We also grow Texas mistflower (Conoclinium greggii), and overwinter a single plant indoors in case it doesn’t survive our harsh winters. Find Buddleja Buzz ‘Ivory’ on our Butterfly Flowers Page. However, I went outside this morning to find something had chewed through the entire zinnia stalk…such a shame, but I the milkweed will be getting plenty of sun again! It has been a monarch favorite so far. Their reasoning is that this is an African plant in origin and the Asclepias are from the Americas. Milkweed is the only game in town for hungry monarch butterfly caterpillars. They bloom all through the late spring, summer, and fall until our first freeze and are the best! Many gardeners plant milkweed alone in patches, but there are many companion plants that grow well with milkweed and will attract and support more monarchs. Fragrant clusters of flowers are a magnet for butterflies and pollinators. Annuals such as nasturtiums, sunflowers, marigolds, and zinnias, and perennials such as lavender repel pests and attract beneficial insects. I got the monarch ageratum from a plant breeder. Common milkweed has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries but has fallen from favor in recent years. I am presently still fighting to grow some giant and swamp milkweed in Florida. 12. Find shorter milkweed varieties on our milkweed resources page. I have had success with good ol’ zinnias…!! Pair an early blooming milkweed with a late one. For those in warm regions, Texas mistflower may be a better option for supporting your monarch needs. Find Mammoth Sunflowers in our Butterfly Flowers Directory, Filed Under: Butterfly Garden Ideas, Container Garden Ideas, Hummingbird Garden Ideas, Milkweed Garden Ideas, Minnesota Garden Ideas, Monarch Butterflies, Wildlife Garden Ideas Tagged With: asclepias curassavica, balloon plant, butterfly weed, companion plant, ice ballet, mammoth sunflower, monarch ageratum, Oxypetalum caeruleum, spider milkweed, swamp milkweed, verbena bonariensis, whorled milkweed. Nadia Hassani has nearly two decades of gardening experience. They can grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet in height, so don’t crowd them. Also, the Gomphocarpus species have a double layer to the fruit (seed pod) which you don’t see with the Asclepias species. I am linking pics below of the “milkweed forest” lol as well an area on my patio where I have potted milkweed for those caterpillars that are about to pupate. I have a stand alone patch of annual and the swamp weeds . Plants can attract beneficial insects and pollinators, deter pests, and thus act as insect repellants.