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14 Apr

As promised in my previous blog, I am giving you ideas about where to obtain milkweed seeds and plants.  Since seeds will take longer than established plants to germinate and grow,  this blog covers seeds.  My next blog, On a Mission for the Monarchs cont’d,  I will share information on where to find established milkweed plants. 

Now is a perfect time to find milkweed seeds at local garden centers or you can order them online.  It takes several weeks in order to get your butterfly garden ready for the annual return of monarchs from central Mexico.  I will provide several websites that I’m using as my source of information.  I am certainly no expert but I am certain I want to be part of the solution to help the monarchs not only survive but to thrive. 

According to livemonarch.com, their seeds will grow almost anywhere in North America.  Seeds will take about 30 days to germinate, and should be soaked for six hours in non chlorinated water prior to planting.  When that is done, you can plant them about 1/8 inch below the surface in garden soil, growing trays, or deep pots indoors since they have long roots. 

Monarch caterpillars eat 20 or more large milkweed leaves so be sure you place several milkweed plants in your garden.  More stalks and leaves will grow on each plant if you cut the top off growing plants when they reach 8-12 inches tall.  From that point, it will take about two months before the plant is large enough for the caterpillars to eat.

I encourage you to make it your goal to create a lush refuge of milkweed for the return of the monarchs.   And while you’re at it, encourage your neighbors to do the same.  After all, “One Seed Can Change the World”!  livemonarch.com.caterpillar

 

 

 


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