We Planted Milkweed

Two summers ago, Molly had read about butterfly weed to attract butterflies. We Just couldn’t find it anywhere, but managed to find swamp milkweed That was supposed to be pink but ended up being white, but it didn’t matter in the end. Until We picked up the milkweed, I had forgotten that it was something I had always wanted to plant after reading about monarch butterflies in elementary school.

In July, before we went away, I thought I saw red monarchs flying across the front yard, but with my poor vision and the shadows I could never be 100% sure. But in early August, Molly spotted the caterpillar. I’d noticed that something was eating some leaves, but never spotted the caterpillars. At one point we had more than 20 of them with at least a dozen chrysalises around. Under the chairs, under the table, in the hanging plant, morning glories, neighbor’s sewer vent, On the watering can. The best one was the one on the reef directly in front of the front windows. It was fun trying to guess where we’d see the next one.

I saved seeds from the plant because Molly’s aunt wanted some, and started them in the spring. We had 3 left and left them in the pots for free in the front yard. They were all taken!

Last summer, our milkweed didn’t do so good. I think it started with the neighbor kids trampling the first shoots in the spring. They probably let their dog piss on it too, since their method of taking the dog out was open the door and let it wander. Come summer the plant was growing well but then got what, I think, was some sort of fungus or something. We’ll see how it does next year.