Meadow maintenance to promote and preserve milkweed

Asked June 25, 2020, 10:22 AM EDT

We have two types of milkweed starting to bloom in a meadow area we started in our side yard (see photos). I'm wondering the best way to manage the meadow to promote and preserve the milkweed for future years. I'm guessing we should mow/bushog it.But how often? How high? Are there other tips you have for maintenance? Companion planting? Also, we have dozens of multiflora rose throughout. What is the most effective way to keep them at bay?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Mowing the meadow in late fall is recommended, since the area is likely providing a nice habitat for a variety of animals in the spring and summer seasons. One mowing is sufficient, but you might want to break up the task and do different sections (1/3 at a time) to leave some plants for seeds, cover, etc. Mowing can also be done in early spring. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources provides some basic information about meadow maintenance. https://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/habitat/wawildflowers.aspx

If you are looking to add additional plants into this area to further diversity your meadow, we have a list of recommended species for the coastal plain region of Maryland. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/native-plants-meadows-marylands-coastal-plain

Here is information about how to manage multiflora rose.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/multiflora-rose
This fact sheet goes into further detail about removal options.
https://www.invasive.org/weedcd/pdfs/wgw/multiflorarose.pdf

Christa