I live in Central Florida and butterflies haven’t touched my milkweed! I’ve paired ours with ‘ivory’ buddleja buzz butterfly bush. Generally, plants that compete because of similar nutrient needs, water, space—aboveground and below with their root systems—as well as sunlight should not be planted next to each other. Even though it’s getting cold outside, and the 2014 growing season is coming to an end, we are already planning for 2015. Milkweed: A Field Guide. I have had success with good ol’ zinnias…!! Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on just one type of plant, and that’s milkweed (genus Asclepias). They can fend off predators and undesirable wildlife. Plants can attract beneficial insects and pollinators, deter pests, and thus act as insect repellants. I like it because the prongs add visual appeal to the garden and it attracts TONS of pollinators…top 3 butterfly plant every season. The milkweed flower is a mysteriously complex design of symmetry as well as highly specialized access to the garden insects and other aviary visitors. Their texture and flavor suggest a cross between green beans and asparagus, but it is distinct from either. This spring/summer, it appeared that I was ahead of the game. (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, Companion Planting to Control the Insects in Your Garden, The Best Companion Plants for Pole Beans and Bush Beans, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Cilantro, The Best and Worst Companion Plants for Zucchini and Summer Squash, Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers and Those to Avoid, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Tomatoes, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Potatoes, Best Companion Plants for Broccoli and Those to Avoid, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Watermelon, Best and Worst Companion Plants for Garlic, How to Pair up Plants to Save Garden Space. Their reasoning is that this is an African plant in origin and the Asclepias are from the Americas. What do you think about Phlox Jeanna as a companion plant for milkweed? Some of my milkweed grew to over 7 feet tall! Do you think it would make a good Monarch/butterfly attractor? Nadia Hassani has nearly two decades of gardening experience. Monarchs on the west coast and in New Zealand will eat tweedia leaves (Oxypetalum caeruleum), but the jury’s still out on whether monarchs will deposit eggs on it in other regions. Other compact butterfly bush varieties would look good too. Traditionally the leaves are tied together to blanch the inner midribs, for vegetable use, but for ornamental impact leave them loose. Common milkweed has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries but has fallen from favor in recent years. The good news is that they grow like weeds and self propagate so once you have them you have them pretty much forever. If you like hummingbirds, black and blue salvia would make a great butterfly weed companion too…lots of grape options! They bloom all through the late spring, summer, and fall until our first freeze and are the best! I did realize the change had been made (the new botanical name is on my plant page) but did not know the reason why. Usually, I would be caught running out to a local nursery to buy additional milkweed plants in an emergency when my hungry caterpillars would strip my existing plants of all their leaves. Plants also play a role in soil fertility by improving the nutrient supply, availability, and uptake from the soil. Is that what they are called? So when selecting companion plants, it's necessary to consider whether their needs are compatible with those of the sages you plan to grow. Verbena grows up to 6′ tall and branches into spiky purple prongs. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. I have always enjoyed providing milkweed for my favorite butterfly, the majestic Monarch. Thanks for the Queen of the Prairie suggestion…I will have to give that one a try! Maybe I will after all be participating in the Monarch migration! The growing requirements for any plant depend on the temperature range, soil, elevation, sunshine, moisture level and other features of the plant's native land. But presumably they don’t set seed which is why a lot of Buddleias are considered problem plants. Most gardeners are not going to be planting all those do's and. Health Benefits of Milkweed. I have about a half-dozen struggling to survive, a few as white as zombies, but if I get even one or two from seed it was worth the trouble. Thanks for sharing! To be or not to be (together)….that is the question. Would you post the information under this same article, or would it be posted under a new article. I am still waiting for information about when/if this will be available commercially. 12. Hi, just to say I grow the low-growing zinnia — we call them “Mexican Zinnias”– but don’t know if that is a good name or just our local description. If you’d like me to send you the paper from the international Botanical Society, please let me know. 1- Milkweed gets its name from the copious bitter, white, sticky liquid that flows readily from a wounded Plant. I read that you wanted to test it out before promoting it on your website. In our northern region, I prefer wild ageratum because it comes back in spring (by seed) and flowers all season. Fortunately, within the past few days, I have finally noticed eggs and caterpillars in various sizes on a lot of my plants. There are only a few “hard facts” that are unanimously and universally agreed upon, such as the incompatibility of members of the allium family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, scallions, chives) with legumes (beans and peas) because the members of the onion family release a substance to the soil that kills the beneficial bacteria on bean roots. This photo below is possibly Salvia nemorosa ‘cardonna’. Fennel is probably the best-known of the poor companion plants that needs to be given its own spot in the garden far away from all other crops. Asclepias incarnata ‘ice ballet’ is a swamp milkweed cultivar with white flowers that grows a couple feet shorter than the regular variety. She works as a freelance copywriter, editor, translator, and content strategist. Not every garden is large enough to grow a variety of crops for companion planting. If you are growing ballon plant (Gomphocarpus physocarpus) annually, you’ll definitely want the sunflowers as your back border. Just a short comment about the verbena. The season is so short, they're sticky and messy to work with, but they are so good that it really is worth it. The milkweed plant structure is a very pale green to our eyes. I am currently starting a vegetable garden with some onions, carrots, broccoli, peppers, and … Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bring Home the Butterflies, Butterfly Garden Ideas and Gardening Tips to Attract Monarchs, Swallowtails, Hummingbirds, and other Precious Pollinators. Companion plants will either help a specific crop grow or will grow better beside a specific crop, and can do many support jobs in the garden: Repel insect pests . Most young milkweed plants will need about a foot of space between them to allow for healthy growth. after the record rainfall we’ve had in Minnesota this spring/summer the only affect it’s had on the verbena is that some of its over 6 feet tall. While awareness is rising around the… I read about the monarch ageratum and it sounds like a nice little plant that we would like to try. You will be interested to know that Kew Gardens renamed the balloon plant which you refer to as Asclepias physocarpa as Gomphocarpus physocarpus – so some people might find it on sale with the latter name. Swallowtails also visit many milkweed varieties for nectar. Find Mammoth Sunflowers in our Butterfly Flowers Directory, Filed Under: Butterfly Garden Ideas, Container Garden Ideas, Hummingbird Garden Ideas, Milkweed Garden Ideas, Minnesota Garden Ideas, Monarch Butterflies, Wildlife Garden Ideas Tagged With: asclepias curassavica, balloon plant, butterfly weed, companion plant, ice ballet, mammoth sunflower, monarch ageratum, Oxypetalum caeruleum, spider milkweed, swamp milkweed, verbena bonariensis, whorled milkweed. Crops that are susceptible to the same plant disease, such as blight, should be kept as far as possible from each other to prevent it from spreading. For those in warm regions, Texas mistflower may be a better option for supporting your monarch needs. Find suitable milkweed plants for this here. Hi Chris, I have not personally grown Phlox ‘Jeana’ but from what I’ve heard about it, it’s more of a tiger swallowtail nectar source. Yes, companion gardening can benefit your vegetable plants by using proven research developed by The Department of Agriculture or agricultural departments at many Universities. I wanted to test it out to make sure it attracted monarchs before promoting it on the website. With over 140 known species of Asclepias, only 30 nurture the monarchs. Don’t plant the same garden crop in the same spot for consecutive gardening years, as this can lead to pest and disease problems, as well as nutrient imbalances. Hi Carolyn, I think you are talking about the “persian carpet mix” which sounds like a great idea. Posts about companion plants written by Fritz Kreiss, Co ... parasitic wasps and ladybugs, some of which will prey on the insects intent on consuming your vegetable plants. products new description - Companion Plants Inc offers Asclepias syriaca also known as Common Milkweed, Butterfly flower, Silky Swallow-wort, Silkweed Some species grow exclusively in specific regions while others will thrive in jus… However, I went outside this morning to find something had chewed through the entire zinnia stalk…such a shame, but I the milkweed will be getting plenty of sun again! Got to find the Monarch ageratum. I have just discovered this site and am loving all the helpful info I have found so far and thought someone here might know the answer. As companion plants, they are pretty good all-rounders and, as an added bonus, they repel mosquitos. There aren’t too many flowers that exhibit this pretty blue hue, and no other milkweed does. If so, I am thrilled to learn that the Buddleia Buzz family still provide nectar for butterflies (and bees) and the wide range of hues in the flowers. Can I plant milkweed near my garden? Vegetable Companion Planting Chart There are a number of combination that vegetables will grow better and work together in the garden. Plant them anywhere, in and around your patch, without blocking sunlight from other plants. Plant Milkweed The good news is that planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for monarchs. However, understanding your garden as a system of biodiversity where plants are all connected and interdependent of each other helps you make better plant choices. Pray you have a blessed Lord’s day, take care and may God Bless you always. 3 Big Advantages of Winter Sown Milkweed + Winter Sowing Container ideas, In our garden, we have stand alone milkweed patches, Don’t forget butterfly weed also comes in sunny, There are many other milkweed companions that work well together in butterfly gardens. I would occasionally see a Monarch, but noticed no eggs on the leaves. The stems and lea… The bad news is that in NY they tended to mildew in Summer. Those plants are not happy and I don’t think they like the heat. Asclepias asperula, verticillata and viridis are short, native milkweed varieties that would make fine companion plants…really, most any milkweed species would pair well with this because this is a ‘background plant’ that is easy to remove, and a top monarch attractor…we also threw some contrasting red clover into the mix this season. Verbena Bonariensis with Any Milkweed Variety, 2. Where do I find them? For milkweed? When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. They need to be completely dry before nightfall. Milkweed is a lovely wildflower and the sole host plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. On occasion, I yell at them out the window when they’re plucking petals off the zinnias…they just look at me like I’m crazy you could try putting out a feeder to divert their attention. (NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Milkweed, but just finding the plant and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site for Milkweed Flower Buds.). They both keep away a large variety of garden pests, and provide a bright colourful addition to the garden. Sadly, it has not become widely available, although I suspect it has hybridized with the wild ageratum (Concoclinium coelestinum) in our garden. They can grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet in height, so don’t crowd them. I think I might end up with 3-4 plants but it is still an iffy thing. It may be found in fields and fence rows or any fallow area that is open to full sunshine. The stalks are thin, and the flower heads small,  which makes this an excellent see-through plant. And they don’t grow taller than my butterfly weed. Leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard grow in the shadow of corn. Asclepias viridis (spider milkweed) is a spring blooming milkweed with thicker leaves that a hungry cat can appreciate. Butterfly Garden Plants Butterfly Flowers Monarch Butterfly Butterflies Milkweed Plant Hummingbird Garden Thing 1 Vegetable Garden Design Beautiful Flowers Garden So far I have 10 . The more compact ‘may night’ cultivar is a darker purple salvia that would also be a good choice. I’m happy if our tropical is 4 feet up north. No telling yet how this will turn out. Companion Planting Basil for Healthy, Pest-Free Tomatoes and More Of these, nasturtiums and marigolds are my absolute favourite companion plants. I will post more info on it soon…. I enjoy your blog! Unlike other areas of gardening, companion planting is not always based on hard scientific facts but rather on observations, the type of garden lore found in farmer’s almanacs. Not all of them, but like phlox, you have to pull a lot out because if they get to close they just get that damn white powdery growth and look awful. Do the plants you are suggesting as companion plants also provide nectar for Monarchs? Annuals such as nasturtiums, sunflowers, marigolds, and zinnias, and perennials such as lavender repel pests and attract beneficial insects. Swamp Milkweed with Swamp Milkweed ‘ice ballet’, Monarch Butterfly Kits to Raise Caterpillars into Butterflies, 25 Milkweed Plant Ideas for North American Butterfly Gardens, Winter Sowing Milkweed Seeds Part 1: Supply Checklist. Place it in front so it receives plenty of sun. Companion plants will either help a specific crop grow or will grow better beside a specific crop, and can do many support jobs in the garden: Repel insect pests . But that does not mean that you cannot take advantage of the numerous benefits that herbs offer—trapping and repelling pests, attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects, thereby increasing the biodiversity in your back yard. I have stick plant…the cats eat it up every time…had about 45 at one time about 2 weeks ago.. Here is a list of popular garden crops with their recommended companion plants and undesirable neighbors: BeansCucumbersGarden peasMelonsPotatoesSquash. What are some of, Valentine Gift Ideas for a Butterfly Lover, Start or Improve your Monarch Butterfly Garden, Butterfly Garden Book for Monarchs- Instant Download, Top Tools, Supplies, and Resources for Raising Monarch Butterflies, 1. Both of these companions grow well in containers. We also grow Texas mistflower (Conoclinium greggii), and overwinter a single plant indoors in case it doesn’t survive our harsh winters. Companion planting helps suppressing weeds. Interplanting different crops can help marking the rows, especially when combining fast germinators such as radishes, with slower ones such as lettuce. These resemble asparagus spears, but have tiny leaves, in opposing pairs, pressed up flat against the stem. It was starting to occur to me that maybe the numbers of Monarchs were down due to loss of habitat, pesticides, etc. It is mainly used in the context of vegetable gardens but ornamentals such as roses equally benefit from having neighbors they like. Buddleja buzz is not sterile, but it does not seed invasively like the large varieties. Mistflower with Shorter Milkweed Varieties, 6. Find shorter milkweed varieties on our milkweed resources page. Hi Tony, I am a butterfly enthusiast that lives in sunny south Florida! wow, that is tall Karen! However, be mindful not to sew the seeds too close to your milkweed as zinnia leaves are quite large and may block out some sunlight. Purchase Spider and Whorled Milkweed Here. This gorgeous plant provides food for humans as well as the treasured monarch butterfly; John and I had been foraging for its shoots, flower buds, and young pods at a few local spots for several years. Since milkweed is sometimes considered an unwanted specimen in the landscape, and can be invasive, we might consider growing milkweed in a pot. Creative Companion Plants: Milkweed & Wild Strawberries I knew for a long time I wanted a special spot in the yard for common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). I’m giving it one more year to redeem itself. Milkweeds (Asclepias) get their name from the sticky white sap that oozes from the leaves when they are damaged. Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) flower buds as a cooked green is a delicacy. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Buy Black and Blue Salvia to Attract Hummingbirds. Tropical milkweed can also be potted annually and moved around to complement the butterfly weed. On another note I think you are describing the plants above as being aesthetically pleasing in one’s garden, complementing the milkweed species – is that correct? We grow lots of natives, but use non-invasive tender perennials/annuals to complement them. Love, in Christ Jesus, Joan (Sr. Brigit, BSCD) mom of Shawn, always on our minds, forever in our hearts. Plant both butterfly host plants and nectar sources; There are a variety of plants that you can choose from to attract butterflies, such as Black-Eyed Susan, (Rudbeckia hirta) Firebush, (Hamelia patens), or Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) to name a few. Great companions have similar cultural needs. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, repel pests and attract beneficial insects. Finally, companion plants help each other out when it comes to preventing damage from pests. Milkweed is among the primary plants to draw the Monarch butterfly to our yards. Companion Plant and Garden Design. ... Sweet basil repels aphids, asparagus beetles, mosquitoes and mites, and stunts the growth of milkweed bugs. The two species of milkweed from Africa that are available in the USA are G. fruticosus (swan-shaped fruit) and G. physocarpus (the larger fruit, rounded). drayven. Unfortunately, milkweed often has a bad reputation. This inhibits their growth and prevents the beans from fixing nitrogen to the soil. Milkweed (Asclepias) Milkweed are beautiful American wildflowers and delightful garden plants. Depending on the source you consult, information on which plants make good companion plants for each other can vary greatly. Good luck with your giant milkweed! Grow milkweed plants in your garden for colorful, fragrant and nectar-rich flowers that attract pollinators of all sorts. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Spring kale with radishes, followed by celery and tomatoes. Companion plants: Plants to avoid: Beans: Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Corn Cucumbers Eggplant Garden peas Potatoes Radishes Squash Strawberries Tomatoes: Beets Members of the onion family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, scallions, chives) Peppers: Carrots: Beans Garden peas Lettuce Onions Tomatoes: Dill Parsnips Parsley http://imgur.com/5Eqm2cg http://imgur.com/ZS9x29d Thanks, Karen. You can easily crowded young seedlings to extend your milkweed bed. As a Pennsylvania Master Gardener, I’m using more native plants in my pollinator gardens and encouraging other other folks to do the same. There are several dozen species of this wildflower native to North America, so no matter where you live, there is at least one milkweed … Potatoes with leafy vegetables, followed by green beans and Chinese cabbage or spinach. They devoured the plant and are off turning into butterfly! !….They grow perfusely and are easy keepers. I have other swamp weeds in the blue garden with mallow and vinca, purple, coral and red porterweeds. Much of companion planting is common sense: Lettuce, radishes, and other quick-growing plants sown between hills of melons or winter squash will mature and be harvested long before these vines need more leg room. I will take my chances with a $3 packet of seeds. I also tried a sterile variety of butterfly bush and that didn’t attract anything. An interesting article. Hi Jacqui, thanks for your comment. Planting certain vegetables next to each other can deter insects and inhibit growth. There are numerous benefits to companion planting. Both are shorter milkweed varieties that top out around 3 feet. Pair an early blooming milkweed with a late one. Just as there are plants that make good neighbors, there are also no-noes. These days milkweed is better known as a means of attracting the monarch butterfly to your garden but for those of you with an interest in herbal remedies, milkweed can still offer numerous benefits. Get more info on Swamp Milkweed on its Plant Page, Buy swamp milkweed and the ice ballet cultivar on our milkweed page. Raccoons, for instance, dislike the smell of cucumbers. Some crops inhibit the growth of other plants. Planting flowers in your vegetable garden does more than creating beauty and providing cut flowers. Asclepias asperula, verticillata and viridis are short, native milkweed varieties that would make fine companion plants…really, most any milkweed species would pair well with this because this is a ‘background plant’ that is easy to remove, and a top monarch attractor…we also threw some contrasting red clover into the mix this season. Several milkweed plants had sprouted up from seed pods, so many that it looked like a small forest of milkweed! 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