Blog: Carlita the Croc


Milkweed is not actually a weed…it’s awesome.  It’s “Milkawesome!”

Case in point – it feeds monarchs. Well, monarch babies, to be exact. Like true royalty, monarch babies, or caterpillars, only eat certain foods. For them, it is the milkweed plant. That’s it. 
Monarch baby
Om nom nom
So, it probably comes as no surprise that as milkweed gets lopped down, so does the monarch population.  The goal of Start Seeing Monarchs Day is to encourage people to plant monarch-friendly milkweed to help support monarch reproduction and boost their numbers. 
Horticulturist Alaine Rapp is a senior groundskeeper at Brookfield Zoo. She will be planting and maintaining the monarch milkweed waystations at Brookfield Zoo.  Alaine is here to school you on planting milkweed for monarchs:
“The most important thing about planting milkweed is to plant a variety that is native to your area, no matter where you live! There are 4 varieties of milkweed available to us (here in Chicagoland):  Common milkweed (Asclepias syrica), Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnbata), Butterfly weed (Asclepais tuberosa), and Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata).
“Seeds can be sown in spring as soon as the soil warms up and the seedbed should be kept moist until the seedlings emerge.  Young plants can be set out in late April through May (depending on the weather), when the soil has warmed up a bit and we're past the danger of frost.  The young plants will need to be babied along a bit the first season - they'll need water (or rain) once a week.  After that -  they'll do well if ignored!  Really!”

So, plant, people! PLANT THAT MILKWEED!

Posted: 4/2/2015 4:26:51 PM by Filed under: Milkweed, Monarch butterflies, Start Seeing Monarchs Day

Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.


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