A few adult monarchs fluttered about, checking the place out. Plant milkweed. Poison-ing may occur if animals are fed hay containing large amounts of milkweed (USDA ARS, 2006); it is impor-tant to avoid the inclusion of milkweed in prepared feeds and hay. Asclepias sublata – aka Rush milkweed. I suggest you choose one of the others. in places it never was (San Francisco and other California counties) might not be the best idea. According to the Xerces Society, L.A. is at the southern tip of the range for this plant. Growing Instructions: Start California Milkweed seeds outdoors in late November. In 2013 I visited the monarch butterflies where they overwinter in California and counted only five monarchs. About three feet tall at best with pink and purple flowers between April and July, California milkweed fits right into wild gardens in the California chaparral country. Asclepias eriocarpa – creamy-white flowers and broad leaves. We shouldn’t plant it in Southern California. there are more disease issues in Southern California because the continuous growing season means plants can collect spores and bacteria. (at least they had it in Sep 2019) They also stock the tropical kind too, so avoid those tell-tale yellow/orange flowers. Turns out there is strong evidence that planting milkweed (Aesclepis sp.) Mark where its root are, and leave it undisturbed until spring warms up – you should see resprout at that time. California monarchs are in trouble and federal officials have demurred when it comes to providing help. With a blooming period lasting from May through October, narrow-leaved milkweed provides plenty of nectar for adult monarchs, but more importantly, it provides the necessary leaves that Monarch butterflies depend upon, and not the harmful protozoa. About November the foliage will quickly yellow and begin to dry. Water once, and then allow the winter rain and/or snow to provide moisture until the spring. And raising seeds is something you can do inside an apartment! Asclepias is a genus of herbaceous, perennial, flowering plants known as milkweeds, named for their latex, a milky substance containing cardiac glycosides termed cardenolides, exuded where cells are damaged. They are best grown from seed, as their long taproots can make transplanting difficult, and will flower and begin producing seed starting in their third year. If you live in Orange County,Riverside, San Diego, etc. I set out on a journey to kick off a monarch butterfly population explosion! Most milkweed species are fairly drought-tolerant, so even during the establishment phase, irrigating every 10–14 days is usually sufficient. The loveliest of the California natives is showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a small donation to support my ongoing work. Support the monarch. Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias currasavica) has many variations, but is commonly found in red/yellow or yellow. Roger’s Gardens no longer sells or recommends tropical milkweed. It is a flowering perennial with thick, white, woolly stems which bend or run along the ground. It is a favorite egg-laying plant which grows quickly and will sprout many seed pods. aka Woolypod milkweed, Indian milkweed. International Garden Center in El Segundo carries A. fascicularis in one gallon pots. It is our native milkweed, usually called Narrow-leaf Milkweed or more accurately Asclepias fascicularis. For those of us growing in southern California, this is even more important than ever as we face record drought conditions. According to Theodore Payne Foundation, wait until the weather warms up in March – here are their instructions. When & Where To Plant Milkweed. She lands on it, scratches it with her front legs, tastes it with her feet, and confirms that it’s indeed milkweed. aka Narrow-leaved milkweed. The monarchs in California are not those that winter in Mexico or that you read about when you were in school. When you think about it, it’s rather remarkable how a butterfly can spot a single milkweed from the sky. I’d heard some controversy about milkweeds, that we shouldn’t be planting Tropical Milkweed, but I wasn’t sure. ; Swamp Milkweed, as its name implies, will do best in a moist environment, making it great for wet meadows or rain gardens. We will remain open and will continue to follow COVID Safety Measures. Asclepias fascicularis – white flowers and narrow leaves. In Southern California another milkweed also grows well, and it has been here for thousands of years. It all started with an accidental visit to a City of Santa Monica building near Santa Monica airport. Risks of Non-Native Milkweeds (Mexican Milkweed) in California Mexican Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is easy to find in garden centers and mega-marts around the Bay Area, and is an alluring purchase due to its showy red and yellow flowers and misleading common name of 'Milkweed'. window.dojoRequire(["mojo/signup-forms/Loader"], function(L) { L.start({"baseUrl":"mc.us2.list-manage.com","uuid":"74fad4a43410178f78398f3d2","lid":"32807342bd","uniqueMethods":true}) }), Joanne Poyourow | J. Maak | Change-Making.com, A guide to common milkweeds of California, Xerces Society, Monarch plant list – Coastal Calif, Xerces Society. There are also many non-native varieties of milkweed that grow well here in southern California. This tropical milkweed has red-orange flowers with a yellow center, and glossy-green leaves. As I write this, in May 2019, they stock A. eriocarpa and A. fascicularis which are appropriate for our area. It is found mostly in Southern California. Asclepias fascicularis – white flowers and narrow leaves. Shortly after this, the entire plant is generally cut back to near the soil line to let it rest until the following spring, when it will burst out with a fresh season of growth. aka Wooly milkweed. Its carnation-scented blossoms are two-tiered: Five-fingered pink coronas are backed by … People focus on milkweed because it is the larval food plant — the plant where the monarchs lay their eggs, the plant the baby caterpillars eat as they grow and prepare to go into their chrysalis. Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. The Tropical Milkweed is the one you’ll usually see at Armstrong and other chain nurseries. DON’T plant that one in Southern California. Showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa seeds. It disappears completely in the winter – and that is perfect for monarchs! Like other drought tolerant milkweeds, the stems and leaves are covered with a thick covering of long hairs giving the plant a woolly appearance. Asclepias eriocarpa – creamy-white flowers and broad leaves. Milkweed is suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 9, where it prefers full sunlight and well draining soil. All of these native species, of course, go completely dormant during the winter months, which is ideal for monarch health. Remember that monarchs are more likely to be attracted to your milkweed patch if you plant a clump of milkweeds together in a grouping, rather than a single milkweed plant. Per the Xerces Society, its furthest northern range is in Mexico. My hope is that, if I can get California native milkweeds established in my garden, you should eventually be able to get the right kind of milkweed for Los Angeles via Cityscape Seeds. I have a desire to help the monarch butterfly. Rush milkweed seed packet, Asclepias subulata 25 seeds. We send out two Northern Varieties called Syriaca and Speciosa which can survive the winters at the end of the growing season, and Asclepias Curassavica (southern milkweed / red and yellow flowers) to appropriate areas. Monarchs travel vast distances as they overwinter in Mexico and Southern California. What about all that controversy over the tropical kind? There is growing evidence within the science community that non-native milkweeds may be causing changes in monarch migration habits and increasing the prevalence of a debilitating disease among the adult butterflies. Nonetheless, there still may be an issue. Asclepias californica – deep pinkish/magenta-ish flowers. It provides amazing habitat each winter with over 400 overwintering sites that are home to monarchs migrating from much of the Western states. General Description . sustainable living and creating positive change. Whether native or tropical, make your milkweed choice carefully and manage your plants intelligently. Sold out. Which kind of milkweed? If you know the botanic name and the appearance of the variety of milkweed you are seeking, you might be able to find it on other sites, such as Etsy. If you plant the native varieties in late summer (which is when nurseries seem to stock it), when the weather grows cold you can expect it to die back into its rootstock, the way your bulbing flowers like narcissus would. But they do move around regionally, just not like the big migrations of some areas. We shouldn’t plant it in Southern California. All of these seem to have pink, pinkish, or white flowers. I wanted a milkweed patch at my place! The invertebrate conservation group The Xerces Society recommends native milkweed species. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) are considered the best varieties for an ornamental garden. From my review of California Native plant websites and Xerces Society information sheets, I’ve come up with an extremely simple formula. The catch was, what kind of milkweed should I plant? Mexican whorled milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis 25 seeds. The monarch butterflies spend winter along the California coast between Mendocino County and San Diego. Corona del Mar, CA 92625, Open Daily 9 AM – 8 PM This project is part of a collaborative effort to map and better understand monarch butterflies and their host plants across the Western U.S. Data compiled through this project will improve our understanding of the distribution and phenology of monarchs and milkweeds, identify important breeding areas, and help us better understand monarch conservation needs. Tropical milkweed actually has higher cardenolide levels than native milkweed, so it helps to protect monarchs. Once established it is drought-tolerant and does well in … Asclepias californica, California milkweed is one of the most beautiful milkweeds in California. Fortunately, our monarch butterflies in California and other western states are far less migratory than their Eastern brethren, so the issue of effecting their migration habits does not apply as much to our region. That way you are helping to increase the number of milkweeds in Southern California and getting the right kind of plants out there to welcome the butterflies. It has deep purple flowers and almost white gray fuzzy foliage. Not for L.A., but if you’re in San Diego, try planting this one. Your efforts will help bring back the Monarch’s and restore their populations to healthy levels. But then things got a bit more complex. It grows in many of our local canyons, hillsides and mountain foothills; and fortunately, now occasionally in … Plant seeds 1/8" deep and 18” apart, using 3 seeds per hole. We suggest all tropical milkweed be removed from your garden, but we know that some gardeners will resist this request, especially when they see larvae abundantly feeding on it. CalFlora shows its native range as the southeastern portion of California. They should move along, or nectar, or overwinter in their South/Southwesterly Migration. I’ve caught the milkweed bug. How do you tell what kind of milkweed you have? Asclepias californica, (California milkweed). Asclepias californica – deep pinkish/magenta-ish flowers. Light: Young Milkweed plants need plenty of diffuse light as they grow.Plant in full sun locations. Locally, in Southern California west of the deserts we have three native milkweed species, Asclepias fascicularis, A. eriocarpa and A. californica. That way, the plant keeps putting out more flowers in an effort to fruit and reproduce. This is a drought tolerant species that does well in hot dry conditions. Woolly Pod milkweed (A. eriocarpa) Woolly milkweed (A. vestita) Heartleaf milkweed (A. cordifolia) California milkweed (A. california) Desert milkweed (A. crosa) Showy milkweed (A. speciosa) Mexican Whorled milkweed (A. fascicularis) But the adult monarchs need nectar plants. The spots listed below are the most popular and easiest to reach, but they aren't the only places you can go to. Larner Seeds carries all kinds of California natives, and their supply can vary season-by-season. 2011). It is native to California and northern Baja California from the East Bay region southward and the foothills of the Sierras. It has yellow/orange flowers. Asclepias curassavica – DO NOT PLANT. ARS, 2006), but milkweed is not in the ten most com-monly diagnosed plant poisonings of livestock in Cali-fornia from 1990 to 2007 (Forero et al. The parent butterfly will lay its egg on the underside of a milkweed leaf. (with color photos of the above-mentioned plants), A guide to common milkweeds of California, Xerces Society (pdf), Monarch plant list – Coastal Calif, Xerces Society (pdf), some tips on starting milkweed seeds, including good descriptions of stratification, heat shocking, and scarification. Asclepias erosa is a species of milkweed known commonly as desert milkweed. aka Woolypod milkweed, Indian milkweed. The seeds that grow in southern California should be adapted to the dry conditions that we are facing. You could get some seeds of California native milkweeds, grow them into transplant size, and gift them to friends who have garden space, or gift them to schools and community gardens. If they never bred somewhere, making them breed is not helping them. — thanks! For milkweeds, as with most native plants, The Problem With Tropical Milkweed. A new survey of the Western population of … aka Narrow-leaved milkweed. Find milkweed plants. Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) does not die back in winter, especially in warmer climates like southern California. (visit our Holiday Hours), Copyright © 2020 | Roger’s Gardens | All Rights Reserved, Monarchs and Milkweed, What Gardeners Need to Know. Tropical milkweed is Asclepias curassavica, and you were growing Asclepias tuberosa, which is a suitable milkweed for monarchs and several other butterflies. You may wish to prune off the brown seed pods before … California is the third largest state – nearly 800 miles from the Mexico border to Oregon - and an important place for the Western Monarch Butterfly population. A. californica is endemic to California but is most widespread in the southern part of the state. Ours do not travel from the Northern parts of North America to Southern areas every winter and then back again the following spring. Watching Spots in California . For our area: pink & white flowers = GOODyellow & orange flowers = bad. Native Narrow-leaved Milkweed is perfectly suitable to most of our gardens, as long as you understand its growth cycle and know what to expect. Post updated Sep 12, 2019 with additional sources of native milkweed. Ideas for your Southern California gardens include California native asters, California native lobelias, Cleome, ceanothus, manzanita, baccharis, and black sage. This, in turn, encourages the monarchs to not migrate, to stay here in the wrong seasons, and it can lead to a buildup of the Ophryocystis elektroscirrha  infection which is detrimental to the monarchs — the complete opposite of what we are trying to do! Narrow-leaved milkweed, or Asclepias fascicularis, is a relatively showy plant reaching about three feet in height with pale pink to cream colored flowers. It is a magnet for monarchs and even a single plant in a garden will soon display a few colorful caterpillars dining on its leaves. "When it comes to attracting Monarch butterflies this spring, they really just want one thing—and one thing only: milkweed," writes Elizabeth Gulino for House Beuatiful . $8.00. However its natural range is in Central and Northern California. “Planting milkweed” seemed to be an obvious solution. In Southern California, gardeners have milkweed choices when outdoor plant shopping. Most sites south of Santa Barbara and north of Santa Cruz have far fewer butterflies to see. ... Milkweed produces glycoside toxins to deter animals from eating them. As with all species of milkweed, pinching off the blooms once they are spent, a process called “deadheading,” can greatly prolong the blooming season. Heartleaf milkweed seed 1 gram, Asclepias cordifolia. It is native to southern California, Arizona, and northern Baja California, where it is most abundant in the desert regions. California Native Milkweed Species. Tropical Milkweed acts as a perennial in our area, it doesn’t go dormant. Asclepias californica is a species in the Apocynaceae (Dogbane) family known by the common name California milkweed. California milkweed, or Asclepias californica, is a droughty, fuzzy-leaved milkweed that inhabits dry slopes from the Bay Area and Yosemite foothills to the South Coast. For monarch butterflies in western North America, native milkweed varieties include: California milkweed (Asclepias californica) Heart-leaf milkweed or purple milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia) It is very drought tolerant even occruing in some high desert areas. There are several California native milkweeds, which are the ones we should be planting. She then proceeds to lay her egg on a leaf — and only on the leaf of a milkweed.This is because monarch caterpillars depend on the plant for food, eating every leaf in their path until they complete their metamorphosis (a cycle tha… It takes time and effort to grow milkweed from seeds. They had planted milkweed outside the building, 18+ plants by my count, and there were TONS of monarch larvae, with lines of chrysalises along the building’s siding. California is the center of the distributions for six milkweed species used by monarchs; A. fascicularis (Mexican whorled/narrowleaf milkweed), A. erosa (desert milkweed), A. californica (California milkweed), A. cordifo- lia (heartleaf milkweed), A. eriocarpa (woolypod milkweed) and A. vestita (woolly milkweed). Pick a location with full sun and prepare soil for good drainage, if needed. When do you plant those seeds? For decades the most common milkweed species in our gardens has been a Central American species sometimes called Tropical Milkweed, or more correctly Asclepias currassivica. more here. What else did I need to know? (Here are some tips on starting milkweed seeds and more instructions ). Southern California Pro-tips Narrowleaf milkweed is native to the western U.S. states of CA, ID, NV, OR, UT, and WA, where it grows below 7,000 feet in sagebrush, chaparral, grasslands, and foothill woodland communities. Three species have particularly wide ranges and are good choices in most regions: common milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca ), swamp milkweed ( A. incarnata ), and butterflyweed ( A. tuberosa ). Unlike Tropical Milkweed, which retains foliage all winter and even a few flowers, our native milkweed is completely winter dormant. 2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd. NO, DON’T PLANT THESE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA…. Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) Tropical milkweed probably wins the contest for the … The plant is quite drought tolerant and prefers somewhat dry, poor soils. This milkweed is a perennial herb with erect yellow-green stems and foliage in shades of pale whitish-green to dark green with white veining. For Los Angeles and Southern California, consider the following. (They also stock A. speciosa, which is for Northern California, not for here). Here are some common monarch health issues: 6 Monarch Diseases and Prevention. Antelopehorn milkweed (A. asperula) California. The latter two are highly ornamental and widely available via the nursery trade. Soil: There is a Milkweed variety for every landscape. Asclepias speciosa – This California native has beautiful pinkish flowers. Monarch expert Karen Oberhauser from the University of Minnesota recently did a Q & A for Journey North and this is what she had to say about Asclepias curassavica: “When tropical milkweed is planted in the coastal southern U.S. and California, these plants continue to flower and produce new leaves throughout the fall and winter, except during rare freeze events. Asclepias vestita – creamy flowers and broad leaves. Record drought conditions they overwinter in Mexico winter – and that is perfect for and... 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