Milkweed Bugs

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I can’t remember where we picked up our Asclepias curassivica, aka: scarlet milkweed, but it has thrived in our flower bed this spring. I didn’t even realize it had set seed pods until a week or so ago. As I went over to inspecgt the open seed pods I noticed that the plant was crawling with milkweed bugs. We had them on our milkweed in Florida and I never bothered to do anything about them, especially since A. curassivica since the plants seemed to be fairly tolerant of the bugs and never really had any set backs. I don’t think I’ll be doing anything about them now, either.

Somewhere buried under a profusion of scarlet sage, Salvia coccinea, is the native Asclepias tuberosa, the yellow milkweed. It died back over the winter and had started coming back but the salvia has taken over and I may have to thin out the salvia around the milkweed so it can thrive. I haven’t seen any monarchs in the garden this year, but I’ve not been paying as close attention as I probably should be. Now that is is summer I’m in ‘keep the weeds under control’ mode!

We plant on adding more native species to our collection later this fall. Many milkweeds require stratification, an exposure to a certain number of chill hours, in order to germinate. Therefore we’ll be getting seeds this fall and spreading them out so they can chill throughout the winter. Another option would be to put them in the freezer or fridge (depending on temperature requirements) and then attempt to germinate them.

Do you grow any milkweed?

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