I have planted milkweed (swan plants) to attract monarch butterflies to my garden but they are covered in yellow aphids. I have been washing the plants regularly with water but this is very time consuming and the aphids are very persistant!! The monarchs are about to come back to lay their eggs and I don't want to damage the butterfly eggs or caterpillars.
The only way to get rid of the aphids is to continue doing what you are doing or hand pick them off and squish them. Use of a chemical would likely cause problems for the butterfles. The only other thing you could try is to buy some Ladybugs and set them free at night by the milkweed plants. Perhaps you could check out some of the Safer brand of insecticides and see if they have any residual effects, if not they may work and not hard the caterpillars. Read the labels well!
Do you plant milkweed in shade or sun...in South Texas?
Milkweed does best in a full sun location.
For more information on growing milkweed, please visit the following link:
Tips for dividing common milkweed in the spring. Is it possible?
My dirt is too airy and I want to plant some milkweed but am afraid that the dirt isn't strong enough to support the plants. We cleared a section of our yard that has been overrun with bushes, poison ivy, vines and weeds for years (decades?). After all of the vegetation was cleared, my husband tilled the ground to get the roots. Now we are left with the most spongy, light and dead root filled dirt. When you walk on it, it is like walking on cotton balls. I would like to plant a monarch weigh station with lots of milkweeds and nectar plants. I am worried that the dirt is too flimsy and won't hold the plants. My husband wants to till in some compost to firm it up. Will this work?
Adding compost is a great way to help your soil.
How wonderful a butterfly garden will be!
Here is a few links for you.
There is milkweed in my lawn. What would you recommend that I use for killing it without hurting the grass?
Since these are not too difficult to control, hand pulling would be most effective, especally while the soil is wet. If you haven't had any rain, simply soak the area for about 15 minutes or so beforehand. You can also spot treat the plants with something like Round-up, taking care not to spray the grass. An effective way to accomplish this is by using a shield of some kind, like a piece of carboard. Also, avooid spraying if it's windy.
I have a milkweed plant that has gotten way too big for where I planted it. Want to move it but afraid to because maybe it will die. Is there a way to move it without it dying?
Milkweed does not transplant well because of its very long taproot so you would just need to be sure to dig deep enough to get most of the tap root. And, be sure to keep the soil moist after replanting so that the roots get get acclimated.
For more information on milkweed, please visit the following link:
I have several milkweed plants and have, in the recent past, been successful in having monarchs lay eggs and produce more monarchs. Now, I rarely see eggs and if they are fortunate enough to turn into caterpillars, they are being killed by wasps or other predators. My milkweed plants have not been flowering lately and now I don't see eggs even though an occasional monarch flutters in. Any suggestions on how to attract monarchs again? Please note, I do not use pesticides and we had a very rainy summer.
Planting more flowers that attract butterflies can help.
You are doing all the right things and would keep up the good work.
Also a water source can help.