Monarchs and milkweed

Asked August 27, 2016, 11:44 AM EDT

Hello- I have milkweed in my rain garden to support the monarch butterflies. Can I pull them up now? If the butterflies don't need them anymore this year, I'd like to get rid of the plants before the pods open and seeds fly everywhere

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

According to "Milkweed, Monarchs and More", our Minnesota Monarch expert Karen Oberhauser one of the authors, the last Monarch time of coming out of chrysalis is mid-September. They spend about 10 days in chrysalis. This is proving to be a bad year for Monarchs. All of those facts lead to not pulling the milkweed out now. What you can do is clip off the seed pods. The larvae don't eat the seed pods. The butterflies should thank you for planting that milkweed and for giving their last minute siblings a chance to make it!