I have been trying for three years to get milkweed to grow in my yard. I want to give my monarchs something to eat and a nursery for their offspring. I have been trying to grow them from seed. This year I started the seeds inside and when the sprouts were about four inches tall, I planted them outside – – where they promptly withered and died under what I did not think was such a wicked sun. I guess I was wrong.
So next I took what was left of the seeds and planted them directly in the ground in a shadier spot. Three days after a late winter rain storm swept through and that part of my yard turned into a giant mud puddle. So much for that.
It was then that I realized some things: a poppy plant was growing from a crack in my patio. A coriander in my neighbor’s yard had sent a shoot under the fence that separates us bursting with blossoms. Mint was growing behind my garage under the water spigot. Two kale plants leftover from last year have popped up between the tomato plants that had survived the winter. All of these I’ve had very little to do with this year in terms of propagation, and they are doing just fine.
Then an idea came to mind. I went to the garden center and bought another package of milkweed seeds. I brought it home, ripped it open and just flung the seeds all over the garden. I gave them a squirt of water and called it a day.
A few days later and just a week after that freakish rain storm, we had record heat: ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit in early April. I kept the yard moist, but I did not fret. I had come to realize that I cannot control the weather. I cannot control what grows in my yard or where. So I will sit back and watch my feral plants do as they please. If I am meant to have milkweeds and monarchs in my garden, I will.
Mother knows best.
April 11, 2022 at 3:28 pm
Enjoyed your articles. We just love those volunteers that spare up unexpectedly!
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April 11, 2022 at 8:53 pm
April 11, 2022 at 7:30 pm
It’s great that you can appreciate that plants will grow where they want to grow. I had some luck getting milkweed to grow, but less getting blossoms.
April 11, 2022 at 7:40 pm
For a weed, it is a finicky plant.
April 11, 2022 at 8:44 pm
Any milkweed in my yard has been purely volunteer, and I’ve mostly seen tussock moth caterpillars on them. Good luck with your seeds!
April 11, 2022 at 8:55 pm