Grower Select: Soulmate Swamp Milkweed
Love at first sight! Soulmate Swamp Milkweed is a sensational Spirit that will bring joyful pink blossoms to your beds and borders in early summer. The exquisite blooms smell like vanilla and attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and pollinators of all stripes. But that’s not all. Soulmate will give you a satisfying feeling when you find that your plants are helping to support monarch butterflies. These amazing butterflies have been struggling in recent years, but you can make a difference by planting Milkweed—the ONLY food monarch caterpillars can eat. If you plant it, they will come. Be a part of the solution!
Soulmate is a selection of Swamp Milkweed, a rugged wildflower native to all of the lower 48 states except for Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona. This widespread Spirit has played many roles in human life over the years. Among some Native American tribes, this Milkweed was traditionally known as Pleurisy Root and was used to treat that lung disease. Other tribes used Swamp Milkweed in a salve for newborn babies’ bellybuttons! More recently, American children collected Milkweed pods during World War II. The silk inside was used to stuff life preservers.
Keep an eye out for monarch caterpillars on your Soulmate Swamp Milkweed. They’re covered in white, yellow, and black stripes and are unmistakable. Once a cat reaches full size, it will crawl away from its food source and begin the next stage of its life. It will turn into a jade-green chrysalis with metallic gold spangles, and soon—somehow—a perfect monarch butterfly will emerge.
How to Grow
Grow Soulmate Swamp Milkweed in full sun for best results and irrigate regularly. Do not let it dry out. Plants will be tall and lush in wet soil, a bit shorter and more compact in average conditions. One problem that may affect Soulmate is aphids feeding on the new growth. Simply knock them off with a jet of water from the hose. Do not use pesticides on or near this monarch butterfly host plant! Cut plants back in late fall or any time before new growth appears in the spring. Swamp Milkweed is late to emerge, and it’s a good idea to mark its location before it goes dormant for the winter, so you remember where it is.
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