Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why I let milkweed grow in my flower beds

Milkweed is just that, a weed but it is a very important weed.

Milkweed is the main food source for the monarch caterpillar and its flowers are a nutrient source for the adult butterfly.
The monarch butterfly population has been declining rapidly over the last 20 years. Studies show that they have decreased by almost 80%.

Due to increasing levels of herbicides used in agriculture the supply of milkweed (the main food source for monarchs) is significantly reduced.
I remember growing up seeing fields of monarchs fluttering around in the summer. I have not seen this in years. 
The monarch butterfly is the only butterfly that migrates thousands of miles from southern Canada/northern US to Mexico and back each year.
Monarch butterflies are not currently listed as endangered or protected but Centers for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection.
Because Monarch butterflies need milkweed to reproduce (they lay their eggs exclusively on the milkweed plant) land owners such as myself should do everything we can to help them.
Please don't pull out the milkweed growing in your flower beds, they smell quit lovely and help the monarch butterflies.

That is why I let them grow in my flower beds

Happy Gardening!

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