Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's me or the milkweed

As I stated in my last post, planting common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the biggest mistake I've made in years!

I mentioned in that post that if cut down, they readily re sprout from the roots. Today I found a sprout a good 15" from any planting I made. So it runs!

I ran too. To get the loppers.

Down they came. So did the other stand. Then I hauled their gooey, latex-dripping carcasses over to the township yard waste site.

Okay. First strike. I don't know if I should dig up the roots or try and kill them with herbicide.

Either way, it's total war. I'll have to paint sprouts with full-strength herbicide for who knows how long.

The single monarch that floats around the ring bed seems unconcerned. It's never visited the common, preferring to spend its day on the 'ice ballet' or incarnata milkweeds. It also likes the zins that are beginning to bloom, so worry not about the monarchs. There's still plenty of larvae lunch around here.

P.S. I've removed the link for "Free Milkweed Seeds" from the sidebar. 'Nuff said.

P.P.S. This very afternoon I watched the monarch find a friend, dance, and is right now laying eggs on both the ice ballet and incarnata milkweeds. :-D


  1. I know that milkweed is the big draw for monarchs. And I LOVE butterflies. But I always steer clear from planting anything with 'weed' in the name lol. :D Good luck with that battle. Keep your chin (and your sword) up!

  2. Kyna - thanks for support. The other 'milkweeds' are not thugs like this one. Wish I'd known more about it before I'd planted. Live and learn. Live and learn. Anyway, makes for some good post action. :-D

  3. Oh dear, don't you just hate it when you find out the4 hard way that a plant is invasive. I have been fighting creeping myrtle, trumpet vine and basil for years. They just keep somehow finding a way to survive all my attempts at eradicating them. Good luck on getting rid of yours.

  4. HH - Trumpet vine? *twitch* I had one *twitch* at the my old *twitch* house. I tell everyone I moved to upgrade but *twitch* it might have been the trumpet vine... ;-D

  5. Good luck!

    I have learned the hard way not to move native wildflowers to the yard............unless you do a lot of research. White yarrow, eupatorium (white), a native aster, come to mind! It is an ongoing battle.

  6. Glenda - thing is, some natives are friendly. It's hard to know and research by gardeners (not botanists) is hard to come by. *sigh* I hope my post will save someone else a lot of grief.

  7. Try planting Butterfly Weed (asclepias tuberosa) instead. It's very well behaved and is a lot shorter than the common variety. Or you could expand your beds and allow one area for native prairie wildflowers. You would have a lot of pollinators!

  8. Thanks for the advice, TS. But I have no desire for a 'prairie' or wildflower stand. Also anything that might get invasive (like the common milkweed) while perhaps controlled in MY yard, could easily spread seeds (birds, wind, etc.) and wreak havoc upon others hereabouts. :-D I'm really happy with the incarnatas but if I ever get seeds for tuberosa, I'd be happy to try them.


Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your notes, comments and questions and will try to reply to each one! :-)