Got Milkweed: The Plight of the butterfly.
Now more than ever, restoring native plants is vital to preserving the dwindling population of our beloved pollinators! Bower & Branch is committed to growing and distributing native plants that are critical to the establishment and restoration of biodiverse natural ecosystems. Our Got Milkweed program is here to accommodate your native plant and garden needs with our team of professional and expert growers tuning into exactly which milkweed is integral to your garden.
Gardening can be like a beautiful puzzle, and with Got Milkweed, our expert growers are here to help put the pieces together in a gorgeous butterfly garden handpicked just for you! By choosing this program, you can rest assured the perfect milkweed will be chosen that is native to your area. Our horticulturalists can identify this by your zip code within your order, delivering the specific native milkweed to your landscape in hopes to begin restoring the puzzle pieces of saving our Monarch butterflies (butterflies and bird habitats) together.
The Importance of Milkweed
Growing a thriving green space while also making a big difference in the environment: Native milkweed with its strong personality, alluring scent, and brilliant seasonal changes adds a touch of exuberance to your quiet garden beds, though it is so much more than good looks and curb appeal. It provides various environmental benefits by rebuilding habitats, mitigating global warming, and restoring natural biodiversities.
Milkweed is an American beauty, indigenous to North America, adapted to local conditions and seasonal temperatures requiring less fertilizer and care than non-native plants. Drawing in a bevy of curious local wildlife, this is especially important for nature lovers, who enjoy local bird sightings in their garden each morning. Also, attracting butterflies and other important pollinators that can have a positive effect on your landscape.
You may have heard that Milkweed is important for monarch butterflies. While it is a source of nectar for them, it’s more than that, it is actually a necessary host plant for them. This is because the monarch butterfly caterpillar only eats milkweed, and this is why mature butterflies only lay their eggs on them. Without these host plants, the caterpillars will starve. Planting milkweed is such a simple way to help the monarch butterfly population!
What are native plants?
In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European settlement. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money. – The National Audubon Society / audubon.org
A new beginning to a more colorful world
Got Milkweed is an absolute must-have this summer to start your own native butterfly garden! Famous for its vibrant bold blooms, and many butterfly visitors, especially inspirational to our ever missed Monarch’s! Plant this Spirit near your favorite summer sitting area while curious pollinators join along, attracted to these fragrant flowers and their nourishment. This native plant’s qualities are inspirational to our little winged friends as they are grown neonicotinoid free, which means they can enjoy rich nectar unharmed. The benefits of having native Got Milkweed planted in your garden are bountiful and endless!
You don’t have to own a farm to make a difference, even the smallest of gardens can make a big impact. Got Milkweed can play a significant role in enriching conservation efforts for our pollinators. Bees are very fond of the blossoms and its nourishing nectar. It can feed the bees enough to make a small crop of honey. They say, “Bee the change you want to see,” more honey is the sweetest reason to plant.
Oh, to be a butterfly or Ruby throated hummingbird and flutter upon a delightful feast; gorgeous clouds of petite flowers saturated in sweet nectar! These local pollinators certainly do their fair share in bringing seed and fruit production to neighboring crops, and always pleasing to watch. Butterflies of all kinds, and particularly Monarch’s have enchanted mankind for centuries. A population that is dwindling as humans destroy habitats. An amazing way to help is by planting a Got Milkweed Garden in multiples! Even the smallest of gardens can bring uplifting change!
Milkweed in your Garden
Where to plant, and care:
Milkweed loves to bask in all-day sun, and it will grow in just about any type of soil as long as it’s well drained. Once it’s established, the plant will be quite drought tolerant. Milkweed develops a thick taproot to enable it to survive during dry periods, which makes it difficult to transplant, so don’t try to move a well-rooted plant. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage rebloom. Cut back plants any time before new growth appears in the spring. Be patient—this Spirit is slow to emerge. You may want to mark its location before winter comes, so you don’t forget where it is! Once you’ve determined what conditions your plant needs to thrive, plant them somewhere you (and butterflies) can enjoy them!
How do I water?
For many varieties, you don’t really need to! As long as your area is not prone to drought, you can leave your plants alone and they will do just fine.
How do I care for Milkweed over winter?
Milkweed, will enjoy the protection of a little mulch during colder months, most varieties require very little winter care. Once the plants start to die back in the fall, you can trim them all the way down and wait for them to re-emerge in spring.
Got Milkweed is grown neonicotinoid free. What does that mean and why is it important?
Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides chemically related to nicotine which are used to make plants and trees less susceptible to insect damage. A growing number of studies have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides harm birds and pollinators – both by leaching into the soil and causing neurological effects, and by killing off insects that some species rely on for food. For this reason, our growers do not use this to protect our winged friends.
Is Milkweed toxic?
Butterfly Weed secretes a milky sap (hence its name). This sap can be harmful to humans, pets, livestock, and other animals—but ONLY if it is consumed in very large quantities. Fortunately, the sap tastes so foul that most critters (monarch caterpillars excluded!) are more than happy to leave the entire plant alone. Thank goodness for common sense!
Dealing with aphids and other pests
Aphids (often very small and bright orange-gold in color) suck sap from plants. To deal with a severe infestation of aphids, spray plants with cold water (but be careful not to harm any monarch butterfly eggs in the process). Cold water should be sufficient in removing aphids; if it does not solve the problem, you can spray affected plants with insecticidal soap. This should only be done if absolutely necessary.
These plants are also extremely attractive to slugs, which will eat holes in the leaves and badly damage flowers. If you see large holes in your plants’ foliage, check for slugs in the evenings. Dropping slugs into a bucket of water mixed with dish soap is an effective and mess-free way to remove these pests from your garden.