Milkweed (asclepias) plants are essential to butterfly gardens. What is more enchanting than a kaleidoscope of butterflies fluttering around your gardens? Milkweeds provide nectar rich flowers and their leaves are the ONLY! food source for the larvae of monarch butterflies. There are many species of milkweed and there is a great selection at my favorite garden center, The Growing Place. Go there to enjoy their garden settings, visit with their knowledgeable sales staff and pick up a copy of this year’s (free!) planting guide, “Inspired to Grow.”

I have common milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca), swamp milkweed (Asclepias Incarnata) and butterfly weed (Asclepias Tuberosa) in my gardens. Common milkweed can be aggressive, so I decide where I want it and remove the extras. It’s one of the best food plants for monarch larvae and the pink blossoms are just lovely!

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