Also known as Horsetail Milkweed. Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is a showstopper. Local nursery advising folks to: KILL YOUR MILKWEED Green milkweed can range from one-three feet in height and is best propagated by seed which is commercially available. It is widely considered one of the most beautiful varieties of milkweed, which has made it a popular addition to butterfly gardens across the United States as gardeners swapped out their native milkweed varieties … Is anyone familiar with is research? These teachers have done a wonderful job teaching about the Monarchs’ plight and the kids are delightful. http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=cisfqvCeCo0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DcisfqvCeCo0. In the winter, cut it down to the ground. Stems and leaves exude a milky sap when cut or bruised. Asclepias curassavica, commonly known as tropical milkweed, is a flowering plant species of the milkweed genus, Asclepias. Don’t have ANY on the native milkweeds we also have (viridis, syriaca, texana, asperula) but sure enough on the MR. cheers, I think the vine is so lovely~ where would one find it in SA?? Theories abound on the appropriateness–or not–of Tropical milkweed in Central and South Texas. The correct link is seedsource.com. The very traits that make native plants so hardy also often make them extremely particular about their soil, drainage, moisture and available light. Sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. The colorful flowers earned it the name bloodflower and scarlet milkweed commercially. Sometimes the plants in big box stores are actually treated with pesticides – not a good thing for the caterpillars that want to munch on them! It’s butterfly migration season! Quick growing. Be sure to verify that it has not been sprayed with any systemic pesticides. Can rapidly grow to 20-30′. They were gone the next day. Last year they started spreading out, even migrating to the other side of the driveway. I have now bought two more huge tuberosas and 1 through 2 have been transplanted onto the new plant. They are so happy and I found an egg on one of the leaves!!! The only one I’ve had any luck with has been tuberosa. Are you sure you’re talking about Common Milkweed or are you referring to Tropical Milkweed? Asclepias curassavica, Tropical milkweed, NOT native, but a great Monarch host and nectar plant for all butterflies. It does reseed wherever it feels like. The nonnative, evergreen tropical milkweed (A. curassavica) has been associated with an increase in transmission of the protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE), may disrupt the natural reproductive diapause monarchs enter during the fall, and may interrupt or delay migration. Prior to … I’ve seen Queen caterpillars using the Pearl Milkweed Vine one year. In Texas, it is quite common and is considered an important food source for the Monarchs as they start their spring migration northward. Think of … Golden Alexanders have a long bloom time, giving the garden/prairie some well-deserved early color for several weeks in late spring to early summer when many other plants have not yet flowered. (0.5 cm) of soil mix. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are attracted to the flowers. Tropical milkweed is commonly found in garden centers and is easy to grow. Like what you’re reading? Spider Milkweed has a native range of Texas north to Nebraska and eastward as far as West Virginia and South Carolina. Can you correct them? Consider wearing gloves when working with these plants because the milky sap is poisonous if ingested and can be toxic to human skin. Many species need to be vernalized (cold treated) before planting. 1407 North Bell Blvd. Showy red-orange flowers bloom late spring through late autumn except in USDA Zones 9-11 where it is winter hardy. You can also read our stuff on the Rivard Report. She lands on it, scratches it with her front legs, tastes it with her feet, and confirms that it’s indeed milkweed. I borrowed a tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) from a friend and I'm unsure what the watering requirements are. This common native milkweed in our area is sometimes called Green Antelope Horn Milkweed or Green Mlikweed and is the most common milkweed in the state of Texas. They sucked the leaves dry on the plant and then 5 left to walkabout and I found them on my monkey grass and put them back. If your offer of milkweed seeds is still good, I’d love to have some. U.S. scientists have been encouraging midwesterners and Texans to plant milkweed, but many people have been planting the wrong variety: Asclepias curassavica, a species that usually grows in the tropics. It is deer and rabbit-resistant. Monarch caterpillars are tolerant of these chemicals⁠—in fact, cardenolides are the very compound that protects the monarch from predation. Asclepias viridiflora Short Green Milkweed is a Michigan native milkweed. I’m desperately searching for a Milkweed plant for my 8 caterpillars. I have never seen it anywhere except in the wild. Please note: (The cats are infinitely more appealing than the moths.) Seeds from the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica (and other tropical milkweed species) do not require this treatment. Be sure to check the label carefully. It is most often found at the edges of forests and upland woods and is one of the few milkweeds that prosper in shaded conditions. More Info on the Tropical Milkweed Controversy. I’m in Houston and they are usually here in October and November in the fall. As much as I support native plants, this is my favorite Monarch host plant. Has anyone had any luck with Honeyvine Milkweed. Staking: Milkweed plants have sturdy stems - no staking needed. If you'd like to attract butterflies to your garden, growing milkweed is easy to do. Good luck! Thank you! The Edwards Plateau is the western reach of its range, which starts in East Texas. is of vital importance and critical to the survival of the Monarch butterfly as the larvae only eat milkweed. Too much moisture and too much competition from less hardy plants kept these guys laying low. For years we’ve had this milkweed growing along the banks and on the Chigger Islands of our Llano River ranch, but recent, prolonged drought has taken a severe toll, lowering our water table so much that much Swamp milkweed has died. Follow butterfly and native plant news at the Texas Butterfly Ranch. Cover with 1/4 in. Last year in Central Texas when we had an exceptionally wet winter, the Antelope Horns were not as pervasive as you would think. It prefers full to partial sun and grows in a variety of soils but prefers dry-mesic to mesic. Our 2020 plant list will be available in January 2020. If you have it growing in nearby fields, ranches or wildscapes, you might give this a try. This bushy orange bloomer is often confused for Tropical Milkweed (see below) and is frequently mislabeled at nurseries. Watering: Swamp Milkweed varieties need either a naturally moist environment or regular watering. One of the best ways to tell if a milkweed in question is tuberosa is to break off a leaf and see if  milky latex pours out. Photo courtesy Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Hi Toby, I soak my tropical milkweed seeds in warm water for 24 hours before planting them. Dr. Chip Taylor, founder of Monarch Watch, points out that Tropical milkweed is the plant on which Monarch butterflies evolved. Evelyn, I had previously bought Butterfly weed (tuberosa) from Home Depot and I went outside the other day and have 7 huge caterpillars! Tropical Milkweed, also known as Blood flower, is a tender evergreen perennial in the dogbane and milkweed family. It was then that I discovered first dozens of larvae on one leaf, and later a few fuzzy black/orange/white — tiger colors — caterpillars. Monarch butterflies lay eggs on this plant and the resulting larvae (caterpillars) use the plant leaves as a food source. Yes, and here’s how to do it, Converting your Lawn to a Butterfly Garden, http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=cisfqvCeCo0&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DcisfqvCeCo0, US Fish and Wildlife Service rules monarch butterflies worthy of protection, but doesn’t have resources to provide it, As ESA listing decision looms, new study challenges “dogmatic narrative” that monarchs are in decline, FREE Festival webinars available: butterflies, bats, bees and metamorphosis, Documentary chronicles year of chaos through lens of monarch butterfly migration, “Bat Man of Mexico” to dispel lies about bats and COVID-19 at FREE webinar, Desperately Seeking Milkweed: Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars’ Voracious Appetites Create Milkweed Emergency, Q & A: Seed-balls.com founder says “throw and grow” gardening often doesn’t work, Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies Everywhere: Here’s How to Raise Them at Home. Asclepias curassavica is a lush, hardy, perennial sub-shrub that’s resistant to pests, diseases and … Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) I’m told it is also a host pant for the Monarch’s. The plant matures to 1-3′ in height making it a nice choice for borders. The solitary bloomer never receives supplementary water and barely enjoys rain, given its location tucked under a breezeway. Seeds from the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica (and other tropical milkweed species) do not require this treatment. When do you plant the seeds and do you still have some? Just prune as you see fit. From: Hill Country Water Gardens & Nursery While it can be challenging to find Tropical milkweed in the Fall when Monarchs are moving through Texas, it’s easy to cut back your spring plants to encourage new growth for migrating visitors. According to the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, Antelope horns can also be propagated from root cuttings taken in the spring. Nobody will believe me, but monarch caterpillars eat one of my other plants. I have had the hardest time getting milkweeds to establish in my San Antonio and Laredo gardens. I am new and want to stay updated on the milkweed movements in TX. Also known as Green Milkweed, Green Comet Milkweed, Green Antelopehorn Milkweed, Green-Flowered Milkweed. Other appropriate milkweeds are suggested in this article by the Native Plant Society. In my completely unscientific kitchen experiments, I’ve noticed that Monarch caterpillars PREFER Tropical milkweed. If Monarchs lay their eggs at the wrong time, the eggs hatch infested with a parasite. The plant climbs and curls for six – 12 feet and is sometimes called Green milkweed vine, Net vein milkvine, and Netted milkvine. Fill them 3/4 with potting soil, scatter the seeds on the soil surface 1/2 in. It will push out new shoots as the weather warms. The flowers attract bumblebees and butterflies. Asclepia Viridis, Green Milkweed or Green Antelopehorn Milkweed Photo courtesy Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. All of our plants are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and are safe for developing larvae. She then proceeds to lay her egg on a leaf — and only on the leaf of a milkweed.This is because monarch caterpillars depend on the plant for food, eating every leaf in their path until they complete their metamorphosis (a cycle that takes about four weeks). Nan Bryant. NOTE:  If you choose to plant Tropical milkweed, best practice suggests slashing it to the ground in late fall or early winter. Orders will begin to ship in May - June 2020. Research suggests this may promote overwintering monarchs that get ravaged by fungal disease and spread it to others. When offered a choice of Tropical milkweed, Swamp Milkweed or Antelope horns, Monarch caterpillars inevitably choose Tropical milkweed. spores. Grows best in light, rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil in full sun. If it doesn’t, then it’s Butterfly Weed. Tropical milkweed is easy to grow and will provide cheerful flowers throughout the summer. The plant can be controversial for native plant purists and some scientists. I have a single one of these plants growing under a porch at the ranch. Cut back in late winter to control growth. Spider Milkweed is also commonly known as Green Antelopehorn Milkweed. I have witnessed “death in the afternoon” more often than I care to remember: Monarch butterflies snagged by orb weaver spiders as they perch on Swamp Milkweed leaves, in search of an easy feast. It’s helpful to have a diverse selection of native milkweed and flowering plants, but avoid tropical milkweed (A. curassavica). Typically 30 – 45 days of stratification will be required before installing in moist soil. Very easy to grow from seed. Tropical Milkweed, as well as Swamp Milkweed, will root in water. Photo by Monika Maeckle. Cheers, Sandy. Taller, more erect plants, usually with one or a few stems, can be found in moist prairies. It is fairly easy to grow and, although short-lived, will self-seed and persist in many sun/soil situations. May also be grown as an indoor plant in bright sun with regular watering during the growing season and with reduced watering in a cool location in winter. This species tends to be short (12 inches) with multiple stems emerging from the root crown of mature plants. Sign up for email delivery in the righthand navigation bar of this page, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, @monikam. May to October bloom period. –Monika, Hi there, we are in Texas, Zip code area 78634 and THE most popular plant for Queens to ovodeposit on here in our land are all the Matelea Reticulata. Be mindful that stratification is recommended for successful germination. Read that saga here. THey likely will not return. Commercial butterfly breeders and even organizations like Monarch Watch rely on Tropical milkweed to raise butterflies in captivity. I’m in Florida on the west coast central. 512-260-5050 I remember blasting them off with the hose a few times. More Tropical Milkweed Growing Info and Resources. Like Antelope Horns, it sports showy whiteish-green globes of flowers that attract Monarchs as a host, and huge bees and other butterflies for its nectar. Tropical milkweed is a large, showy milkweed with lovely yellow and orange flowers. Tropical milkweed is not native, but it is widely available at garden centers in one-gallon pots and it also germinates easily from seed and cuttings. Plants are noted for being weedy in their native tropical habitats and in warm winter areas such as the deep South where they will self-seed somewhat profusely. Anyone have experience with Milkweed vine as a host? Milkweed plants grow well in dry or loamy soil as long as the area drains well. Butterfly weed can sometimes be found locally at nurseries. This milkweed also serves as an important food source for developing Monarch larva. Prefers rich, moist soil. That’s great news, Kip. This encourages rotting and death of cuttings. Now I hang this plant in my gardens with pin cushions plants. Your link to the Native American Seed Co. is wrong. Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Asclepias verticillata Whorled Milkweed is a Michigan Native and one of the most broadly distributed of all milkweeds in the United States . Monarch Watch, The Xerces Society, a pollinator advocacy organization, and the Native Plant Society have all engaged in milkweed restoration initiatives. Ultimately, the tropicals didn’t survive and I’ll have to plant some more. After you plant the seeds the heated seedling mat can also be … With the exception of droughts in your area, you can skip watering, too. They don't require any fertilizer to thrive. Some scientists suspect that misguided attempts to help the monarch in the United States may be accelerating the end of the migration. For now, though, planting from seed is the most viable option. Ugh — those yellow aphids. I bought a hanging succulent called “string of hearts” four years ago. Best practice, for now: cut tropical milkweed back after Thanksgiving. Other milkweeds here do have trouble flowering and returning. is of vital importance and critical to the survival of the Monarch butterfly as the larvae only eat milkweed. By growing tropical milkweed responsibly, you’ll be helping more monarchs in a time when monarch support is crucial to the survival of their storied migration. Will 3-7 come back? Studies show that the toxins in Tropical Milkweed inoculate Monarch moms and their young. news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/01/monarch-numbers-mexico-fall-record-low. May also be grown as an indoor plant in bright sun with regular watering during the growing season and with reduced watering in a cool location in winter. Intolerant of dry soils. Although it’s easy to grow, tropical types host a parasite that infects and harms monarchs. Other appropriate milkweeds are suggested in this article by the Native Plant Society. Since the time to take cuttings and collect seed will soon be upon us, we offer guidance below, based on personal experience. Tropical milkweed is beautiful. –Monika. It has bright red and yellow flowers and grows about 3 feet tall. Feed those Butterflies! Get familiar with milkweed: there are some imposters out there. This is a non-aggressive milkweed and once established, plants are known to survive for decades. Asclepias curassavica blooms all summer long and is a magnet to butterflies, hummingbirds and pollinators as well as beneficial insects. It is almost invisible and you can hardly find the plants as a low growing vine but each and every time I check between April and October there are Queen caterpillars on there! Tropical milkweed, like any other milkweed used as a host plant needs careful and constant care to be a healthy host plant. In addition to the concerns over OE and disruption of migration behavior, emerging research suggests that tropical milkweed may actually become toxic to monarch caterpillars when the plants are exposed to the warmer temperatures associated with climate change. Those of us who raise Monarch caterpillars like the fact that Green milkweed has larger leaves than other available milkweed, which makes feeding voracious caterpillars a bit easier. I have tried antelope horn, green, swamp, common, tuberosa, Texas, Zygote (or whatever you call that one), and showy. Typically grows to 2′ tall. Collecting Milkweed Seeds. Good luck! Females will search for fresh tender leaves on which to lay their eggs. While somewhat rare it has an extensive range throughout the United States. It grows in the wild in the Texas Hill Country. Let them refuel and move on, the eggs and caterpillars will not make it through our winter here in Central Texas! Wild petunia occurs in dryish soils in open woods, glades, prairies and fields throughout the State except for the far southeastern lowlands. Whorled and Common Milkweeds, as well as Butterfly Weed, are suited to a dry environment. I noticed two years ago that something was eating it, so I brought it inside. Only a few more days before all the fire-colored blossoms have opened. A three-year, drought-induced emphasis on native, drought-hearty plants has created a greater demand for native milkweeds. Females will search for fresh tender leaves on which to lay their eggs. Tropical milkweed roots so readily that rooting hormone is not needed. Water should be able to drain from the soil. “Shocking” seeds that have been refrigerated by soaking them in warm water for 24 hours also seems to improve germination rates. The most common native milkweed in these parts has fuzzy leaves and an odd greenish-white bloom and can stand two-feet tall. Plants can be poisonous to livestock. Can you email a photo of the plant too? Flowers are light green to green and as the plant matures the flowers begin to turn yellowish green or purplish green. Must cut back in the fall in USDA zones 9-11 to prevent build up of OE. Virginia Snakeroot is one of several species of vines known as “pipevines.” This species grows up to 18 inches tall and has thin, heart-shaped leaves. This  will discourage overwintering of organisms possibly harmful to Monarchs. For those who haven’t seen this, watch it. Monarch and queen caterpillars have been documented using Pearl Milkweed Vine in Kendall County. 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