If you are a butterfly enthusiast, you probably already know Milkweed attracts butterflies, especially monarchs. Swamp Milkweed is Asclepias Incarnata and is native to North America. Swamp Milkweed likes to grow in moist soil and can even tolerate heavy wet clay. For adult butterflies, Milkweed usually has a light pink or white flower in mid-to-late Summer full of nectar. However, most importantly, Milkweed plants are the only food source for the caterpillar of the Monarch and the Queen butterfly.

If you have Milkweed, you will also have Aphids. These orange and yellow bugs will come in droves to feed on the foliage. Usually, an insect spray would be recommended for bug control, but most insect sprays would kill the Aphids and the Monarch Caterpillars. Fortunately, the Aphids won’t kill the plant, and the caterpillars don’t mind them, but if they bother you, you can take a hard stream of water to rinse them off. You can also smoosh them between your fingers, which sounds gross, and your fingers may get stained, but saving the caterpillar so it can become a Monarch butterfly is what it’s all about.

Have a gardening question? Fill out the form below to ask the folks at Bennett Nurseries.