Has everyone's butterfly weed come up yet?

Duxbury, MA(Zone 7a)

Last fall I ordered 2 butterfly weed plants. They arrived bare root. I planted the roots and luckily marked the 2 spots with a stake. Also, even today, there is a little brown stem sticking up from the roots, so I know exactly where they should be.

Today is June 20, and still nothing. I was about to give up when I did read somewhere on the Internet that sometimes they don't come up until June, they are notoriously late. I'm in Massachusetts, can anyone else around here comment on whether theirs has come up yet this year? Possibly mine are also later than usual because they are young plants? I am talking about butterfly weed, not bush.

My hibiscus emerged several weeks ago, and I thought that was the last to come up.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I nearly killed mine a couple of weeks ago by digging it up thinking it was dead. Then I noticed a little root activity and stuck it back in the ground. Yesterday I saw that it's up about 3." But you're in a warmer zone, so I don't know...

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Mine are still tiny, also. It's confusing when trying to fill in the holes with new plants. Hyssop has been a disappointment as mine were new last fall but I am hoping they'll come back too.

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

Mine are back but it took some time and lots of pruning after this hard winter we had. I lost two, one that was weedy and a pretty yellow.

Duxbury, MA(Zone 7a)

still nothing on mine, but I think I might see a tiny bud at the base of the old dead stem. I'll leave it and see. But a friend in the garden club has one blooming right now, so I am way behind her.

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

It shot up and is now in bloom here along with liatris, indigo and verbascum. The bumblebees are very happy.

Duxbury, MA(Zone 7a)

For future reference for anyone reading this thread, I do now have a 3" shoot coming up from one of the butterfly weed plants. I noticed it about a week ago, so that didn't come up until July! I'm sure it is because the plants weren't well established yet.

Thomaston, CT

Good luck with the plants....hope they bloom for you.....

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Wow, congratulations! I'm so glad you posted about this!

Pam

Pittsburgh, PA(Zone 7a)

I have a mature butterfly weed plant that is about 4 years old and it bloomed beautifully this season! Right now it has formed seed pods, but I'm not sure if I should take those off the plant. In the past, I have let the plant go to seed.

Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

If you let Asclepias go to seed, next year you will probably find more of them in odd places around your yard. It's difficult to find companion flowers that stand up to their bright orange color.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

The plant that I nearly killed by digging it up thinking it was dead, now has flower buds. Yippee!

Thomaston, CT

Good for you, Pam......Nicki is sampling the leaves on many of my plants......no poisonous ones where I let her roam....

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Oh, the joys of babyhood! Is she adorable? It sounds like she's very curious!

Thomaston, CT

Yes, she's adorable! Into everything, & chewing....pulled leaves off one of my sunflowers, pulled up row markers, trashed seed packets......all that in a few minutes!

Thumbnail by ROBINDOG
Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Oh the energy! While I was away these past two days, Cliffie got into DD1's room--she was also away, and he ate up a lot of her clothing. I would pay this price any time to have a sweet companion. I would also put away my clothing knowing this could happen! I'm sure Nicole will begin to care about what is valuable to you in the garden once she becomes a bit more settled and starts to mature.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

She certainly is a beauty!

Thomaston, CT

Thanks, ladies....friends dropped by last night to see her....their son & his family lost their standard a few years ago....They kept saying how pretty & good Nicki is......and 90% of the time, she is good.....

Albany, ME(Zone 4b)

My old butterfly weed are getting ready to form seed pods. The adolescents are blooming and attracting gobs of butter flies. My young ones have no flowers.

Thomaston, CT

I have no butterfly weed, but I do have lots of milkweed in the back of my property that I let bloom for the butterflies....

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

My tall Aslepias, white milkweed, is start go by, and the Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed, is just starting to bloom. I think I saw a Monarch today, but it went by too fast and I couldn't see where it went.

I think I have a good place for the pink one, the classic swamp milkweed-- Marilyn, is that what you have? It's an area that at the moment is full of weeds, and it's near where Flag grows well. It could spread as much as t wants. Do I need to start it from seed, or will it survive being moved?

Thomaston, CT

Yes, Pam, I have the common milkweed......I'm not sure you can move them, but they probably are easy to start from seed since I seem to have a bunch! I haven't seen any monarchs, or many other butterflies for that matter.....

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the inspiration to keep aslepias in bloom for a longer period. I am planning to add a portion the species I don't have yet, considering Pam's note. Any special tips for growing from seed this winter will be appreciated (my collection of milk jugs is starting to annoy the family). I want to provide a way-station for the monarch migrations, and one garden section backed by viburnums and lindera benzoin is devoted to bees, birds, and butterflies. Walking there is an easy way to hear a busy buzz! This year I planted a seven-son-flower tree in a pot--supposed to be a big Monarch magnet even though it is, and looks, Asian. Hyssop and nepeta are finally waking up. Verbenas are starting to spread.

Thomaston, CT

I've noticed more bees the past few weeks, but no butterflies on my salvia.....maybe when the phlox is in full bloom.....

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

There's a complete list of food plants for the Monarch on Wikipedia's listing:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarch_butterfly#Larvae_Host_plants

It turns out the larva feed on many different Asclepias. I have a couple of the smaller ones, A incarnata Ballerina and A. Verticillata in addition to the other two. Those will be easy to spread around more :-)

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

That was an interesting link. Having read it I will plan to plant asclepias curassavica to help the Monarchs (if they ever come back) to have stronger resistance to the parasites. I suppose Heptacodium microides just doesn't make the list of politically correct plants, and i wonder if there is a reason other than it is not native.

Thomaston, CT

I saw one Swallowtail yesterday, but not much doing in the gardens......

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

I am trying to learn some more butterfly IDs. I have seen black and one azure swallowtail. I'm not sure whether I've seen black pipevine or the black version of Tiger Swallowtail. Tiger swallowtail is very cool in the yellow stage, which must be what I'm seeing lately. Phlox is probably attracting them. Laura is particularly bushy right now. Also, I have many ash, wild cherry and several willows in pots including tricolor willow specifically for them, but they go for all of them.

This message was edited Aug 7, 2014 8:36 AM

Thomaston, CT

Rosemary, the most common butterflies in NE are the Yellow & Black Swallowtails, Mourning Cloak ,Tiger Swallowtail, American Copper, Clouded Sulphur, Cabbage & Mustard Whites & Frittilaries...some years there are a lot of American Ladies & Red Admirals..Monarchs were always plentiful....now I see just a few.....the Hairstreaks are dull colors....I always think they're moths....

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the list, Marilyn. I'm going to look for all of them. It would be fun to visit the butterfly Gardens in Westford now that I'm not busy watching kids.

Thomaston, CT

I know there is a butterfly garden in Deerfield....maybe some day....

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