This fall, thousands of Monarch butterflies will be flying South to escape the cold. To help these butterflies out, we Southerners can do a simple thing and plant Monarch-friendly plants for their 2500 mile journey- the longest of any insect migrating to a warmer climate.
*Above photograph taken by Amanda Keaton from Ridgely, Maryland. See more of her beautiful nature and vintage inspired work here.
Garden Hood in Atlanta is one of my favorite places to peruse plants. It's a beautifully curated plant shop and nursery that inspires as one meanders through...
If you'd like to help the Monarchs out this year, as well as bring a bright color to your yard, try any of these three suggestions from Garden Hood. The bright and beautiful Asclepias Curassivica or Blood-flower, houses a plentiful milky sap that will quickly draw the attention of butterflies and bees alike. Plant this now in preparation for the fall and take note that it's not a reliable perennial but it does reseed. As Manager Kacey Cloues explains, "It's great to plant in any wilder areas of your yard."
The Asclepias incarnata is a swamp milkweed that comes in either pink or white and proves to be an excellent larval food source for the Monarch butterflies. Kasey warns that the leaves will get chewed up but not to worry because it's the butterflies that are munching away. As she explains, "It will get a little raggedy but that's the idea."
Kasey encourages you to plant Asclepias tuberosa or Butterfly weed during late summer and "wait to cut it back until early spring as it will give the plant that extra insulation through the winter." This one requires full sun and favors dry, sandy soil.
A big thank you to Kacey and the folks over at Garden Hood for making this such a fun photo shoot. I look forward to sharing more of their ideas for the garden soon...
Butterfly Photo: Amanda Keaton Photos and Content: Sweet Peach