What, if anything, should I do to prevent aphids from damaging milkweed for Monarch butterflies?
Hello- In May, I planted 30 swamp milkweed seedlings that grew pink flowers and 1 that grew white flowers from University of Kansas’s Monarch Watch program. I live in PA, 15146. I haven’t seen any Monarch caterpillars on the 31 swamp milkweed plants since September 21st. Should I use the following Monarch Watch directions, which came with the milkweed seedlings in April, on all of the plants to remove visible aphids from the plants and also aphid eggs that might be on the plants without visible aphids, and/or cut all of the plants down to whatever height you would recommend to prevent the aphids from adversely affecting the milkweed plants? I bought a wooden bee & ladybug house, and as soon as I can find marigold plants next spring, should I plant marigolds among the milkweed plants to attract ladybugs and aphids to reduce aphids on the milkweed plants? Kind regards, Kristine “If the plants have aphids, now is a good time to spray them with the following solution to kill them, and rinse after 10-15 minutes: 1 oz Blue Dawn 1 oz Isopropyl Alcohol 1 oz white vinegar 1 gal water”
Allegheny County Pennsylvania