Milkweed

Asked April 16, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

What is the best kind of milkweed to plant to help with the monarch butterfly feeding problem? Additional question is what's the best thing to do to heavy clay soil for the milkweed plants?

Blair County Pennsylvania entomology milkweed monarch butterfly and milkweed horticulture

1 Response

Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa, is a great garden flower in the milkweed family. It attracts Monarchs and other butterflies plus it hosts many good bugs like the lady beetle. Butterfly weed can be purchased from a nursery dealing in native plants. or you can purchase seeds. The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center has a good fact sheet describing the cultivation of this lovely plant. In my garden, it doesn't come up until mid summer, though there are cultivars that may vary. Also, if it becomes infested with orange aphids, you can treat the plant with insecticidal soap.