Flower Friday: Butterfly Weed and the Monarch Butterfly

I learned about Flower Friday last year from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having a blast sharing some flower pics. Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already for book reviews and more!

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For today’s Flower Friday, I decided to discuss Butterfly weed. This is a perennial plant that I grew from seed a few years ago without much thought. I wanted to plant a center garden for our butterflies and just grabbed a bunch of flower seed I knew would attract them. 

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The following year, they bloomed into such beautiful plants with butterflies crawling all over them. Every year the plants come back which makes me love them even more. ❤ They require little to no maintenance.

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This year, rather than plant Zinnias down our path through our pasture, I’ll be planting more of this Butterfly weed. So far I’ve planted roughly 240 plants which haven’t even sprouted yet, but they should in a few days. They grow fairly rapidly and I’ll transplant these out in late May when the danger of frost is over. I’ll also be planting more common milkweed from seed that was collected last year.

Growing the Butterfly weed this year ended up costing me roughly $15.74 cents for the seed and soil. You can locate the seed at many sites online, but I prefer sustainableseedco.com as they offer free shipping in the U.S. and also have larger quantities for mass sowing. It’s likely your seed will also ship the same day and I’ve had excellent germination rates on every type of seed I’ve ordered from pumpkins to flowers.

Butterfly milkweed is perfect for growing zones 3-9 and will come back year after year. It loves well draining soil and full sun. Plants can grow 1-3 feet high and spread 1-2 feet wide. 

Scientific nameAsclepias tuberosa
RankSpecies
Higher classificationMilkweed
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Why grow milkweed?

I’ll try to keep this short, but in a nutshell, Monarch butterfly population has seriously declined. In the last 20 years the Monarch populations in the U.S. have dropped by 90%.

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It is said that a combination of pesticides and herbicides used by farmers are part of the culprit, but also habitat loss. Herbicides kill milkweeds and other nectar plants Monarchs need to survive. The young caterpillars especially rely on milkweed for food. If the milkweed is scarce, they cannot survive. Habitat loss has been an issue do to logging in Mexico where the Monarchs overwinter. The rate at which Monarch caterpillars survive (in the wild) is now roughly 10%.

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By planting milkweed, you can help increase the Monarch populations by giving them the food that they need to survive. You can also work to conserve the population by locating eggs in the wild and raising them in a protected environment. It’s important to be sure that you will have enough milkweed to feed them before you take on the task, for they’re heavy eaters.

I look forward to our butterflies every year! How about you?

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Thanks for checking out Flower Friday. Are you growing milkweed where you live? What do you think about Monarch butterflies? Feel free to comment below. Have a beautiful weekend!

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30 thoughts on “Flower Friday: Butterfly Weed and the Monarch Butterfly

  1. Nel

    I’m not growing anything but this is great information for the future if I so choose to decide to landscape (definitely not this year though). Your pictures are gorgeous! I love butterflies! We made a butterfly garden at my college one year as well as a natural prairie for reasons like butterfly decline among others. Have a good weekend yourself!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Nel. They’re so beautiful, aren’t they? I would’ve loved to have seen your college butterfly garden! I can only image the beauty. 😍 Really hoping for a great year. 💜💜💜

      Liked by 3 people

  2. starjustin

    Growing up as a child I have fond memories of your Grandma and how she always looked forward to spring, planting flowers, her gardens and growing things in general. She would work from sun up to sun down, weather permitting, and I can remember her even working in the rain sometimes. I think you inherited your ‘green thumb’ from her and she is probably watching down over you as you plant.
    Spring is my favorite season. I love to see the birds, butterflies, and flowers come back. I’ll be looking forward to it when I come home in April! Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Book Tag: The Versatile Blogger Award

    1. I hope you enjoy growing it! On Amazon, everything is still unresolved. I’m going to message one more time and try, but they are pretty much ignoring me now. Will update soon. Thank you for asking, 🙂 Take care! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I’ll have to order these seeds. I have a couple of Butterfly bushes, which the butterflies do love! But I’d love to add these to my garden. I love attracting the butterflies, they are so beautiful to watch!!

    Great post! Your posts are always so interesting!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Donna, you’ll have to try these! They are so easy to grow and cheap growing from seed. I love butterflies too and look forward to them every year. We have such beauty!

      Thanks for your sweet words. You’re too kind. ❤ I'm so glad you like my posts and I feel the same about you. It means a lot. 😀 Hugs!

      Like

  5. I don’t think I have ever seen butterfly weed before. It is beautiful by itself but attracted butterflies makes it awesome. I look forward to these flower posts every week. I do not grow many plants meself but I do absolutely love gardens and flowers.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s so very orange and easy to grow! I hope you eventually try growing some. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is and the fact that it comes back on its own every year makes it so worth it too. ❤ Thanks so much for checking out Flower Friday! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely post! I always enjoy your flower friday posts. ❤
    This makes me want to grow butterfly weed once I move. 🙂 Also, that gif at the end of your post is absolutely stunning! Butterflies have to be the only type of insect that doesn't creep me out if I see a ton of them all at once like that. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you eventually get to grow it because it’s so easy. I feel the same about butterflies and don’t really enjoy many insects haha. 😀 Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes! I saved several large pods from last year’s milkweed scattered in fields behind us. My problem is that I either have a swamp, down by my fairy garden, or it’ll go two weeks w/o rain. Tried to get several plants to grow last year. They died, and decided to try the seeds instead. I posted a pic of a Monarch on one of the milkweeds last year. We are sorta in the path, but as you said, their habitat is dwindling. Great post!

    Like

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