• bad milkweed for monarchs

    by  • December 31, 2020 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Monsanto nor glyphosate is hurting the monarchs. Some insects such as monarch butterflies have evolved a resistance to the poison and can safely consume the plants. “Monarch caterpillars only feed on milkweed,” notes Sarah Hoyle. The last set of eggs laid in September pull out of here well before our first frost. A monarch butterfly perches on milkweed at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md., Friday, May 31, 2019. Therefore, I am adopting a new strategy. So does the monarch. Although monarchs and milkweed go hand-in-hand, not everyone understands their special connection. Quite the opposite – James’s work showed tropical milkweed sustains the Australian monarch migrations. I suggest growing common and swamp milkweed. None of us is out to destroy the Monarchs. The good news is that monarchs will utilize many different species of milkweed to support their life cycle. It can delay the butterflies' instinctual fall migration through North Texas to the point of destruction. We have quite a few of these bugs. I have spent a lot of money purchasing native milkweeds from online sites and local plant sales. only to what end? Monarch butterfly populations are shrinking. Natives are rarely available at local retailers because wholesale growers do not offer them. Really? 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I will not buy another milkweed plant unless it has an established root system in a larger pot. The cardenolides obtained from milkweed make monarchs toxic to many vertebrate predators (e.g. Unfortunately, milkweed often has a bad reputation. As caterpillars, monarchs ingest the parasite on the leaves. There are more than 100 different species of milkweed, and they are not all created equally. The takeaway is that planting Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias currasavica) may do more harm than good, according to several researchers. You'll receive notifications of new posts by email. Monarch Joint Venture (about 20 native species by region), http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/Monarch_Butterfly/documents/MilkweedInfoSheet.pdf. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) responds well to mowing. https://www.learner.org/jnorth/sightings/query_result.html?record_id=1427225369 Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed… Tennesee: Reasons for the fluctuation include weather patterns — extremely cold and wet winters are especially harmful — as well as deforestation in the areas where they gather to overwinter, and loss of habitat in the U.S. Monarch caterpillars feed on one plant only — the milkweed. Ellen, perhaps you missed the link posted in the comments above about this: http://monarchjointventure.org/images/uploads/documents/MilkweedFactSheetFINAL.pdf, You can use these resources. Lots of valuable information here: Milkweed herbivore: Swamp milkweed beetle. The species that was distributed most by conservationists — tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) — is one that does not deteriorate in cold weather. As a weed scientist and agronomist, i have never seen milkweed in corn and soybean fields since my career started in the mid 80’s. However, your milkweed was not the plant in question. "Most of our native milkweeds by mid-July are dried up, burned up," meaning they would not be an attraction for ovipositing female monarchs. Monarchs generally do not select butterfly weed for oviposition; it’s a better nectar source than host plant. * Provide other flowering species to feed butterflies, from spring through fall. But under those future warmer conditions, monarchs raised on the tropical milkweed … I have a hard time keeping it alive for the last remaining cats to survive, but we always make in just in time. Brower 1969, Brower et al. Its a late rely, and Entomology Today referred you to a good article. I am confused about some of these posts. Instead, I felt sadness. Under these conditions, tropical milkweed produces higher cardenolide concentrations. Therefore we know that for the past ~160 years the migratory population building benefits of the tropical milkweeds introduced to Australia and New Zealand have far outweighed any possible migration deminishing aspects of the plants. You speak the truth!! Monarch Watch Milkweed Market (15 native species and regional maps), http://monarchwatch.org/milkweed/market/ Instead, it continues to thrive, producing new leaves and flowers in the fall and winter, which is causing monarchs to stay where the food is instead of continuing their migration south for the winter. south-central Mexico in recent weeks and some have arrived in the lowlands of northeastern Mexico where some are laying eggs on the evergreen tropical (currassavica) milkweed that grows wild there: What is the Xerces Society’s position on this milkweed species? Enter your email address to receive an alert whenever a new post is published here at Entomology Today. Even when I lived in Leesburg Georgia (southern Georgia) it got too cold for MW at a certain point. Monarch caterpillars are tolerant of these chemicals⁠—in fact, cardenolides are the very compound that protects the monarch from predation. Three species are reported in the upper Midwest and should not be planted by gardeners. It is important to help the habitats, not just the monarch butterflies. In any case, the authors of this article recommend that — regardless of species, even native ones — it’s best to cut down the milkweed in the fall, which prevents the OE spores from spreading disease. This document shows some native species that would work: http://monarchjointventure.org/images/uploads/documents/MilkweedFactSheetFINAL.pdf. Generally, plants that produce broad, flat flowers make good landing pads, such as daisies, zinnias and coneflowers. Copyright © 2021 The Dallas Morning News. Instead, water the plants to ensure that they are able to tolerate the aphid feeding. The seeds are difficult to germinate. I was sold the red/yellow milkweed seed as common milkweed ☹️.I live in Tallahassee Florida and the migration date has passed weeks ago. When and where can I get a coronavirus vaccine in Texas? I wanted a milkweed patch at my place! When you think about it, it’s rather remarkable how a butterfly can spot a single milkweed from the sky. In spring, western monarchs leave the California coast to fan out across western states and southwestern Canada. Example: The seasonal monarch migrations in New Zealand and southern Australia are just like our own – the butterflies become mostly non-breeding in the early fall and overwinter in clusters as shown in the photos below. It's like a desert here then in most gardens, before flowering plants respond to cooler nights and push new growth. By late November, they should have been safely in their overwintering sites in Mexico, not stalled in North Texas. Keep up the monarch MW tropical or native. These migrations did not exist until weedy evergreen tropical milkweeds from South Africa were inadvertently introduced to those countries in the mid-1800’s. Perhaps most famously, milkweed species serve as the host plant for the monarch butterfly. ),” the scientists said in a statement released in January following the milkweed kerfuffle. * Purchase Mexican milkweed for the monarch's spring migration. In order to counteract this trend, many conservationist groups have encouraged people to grow milkweed in their backyards and gardens, and they have even distributed milkweed seeds for this purpose. Milkweed is also well known for attracting butterflies and serving as a host plant for their caterpillars. Many have adapted to different regions of the country and a wide range of climates and terrains, from deserts and rocky areas to marshes and open prairies. , Agree. The obvious remedy seems to be to not plant Mexican milkweed at all, in favor of planting native milkweeds. Brower et al. Indeed, eradication of milkweed both in agricultural areas as well as in urban and suburban landscapes is one of the primary reasons that monarchs are in … 1972, Brower and … I think we’ll win if we keep going. Somehow this will be blamed on modern agriculture, even though it wasn’t the guy trying to manage weeds who established the wrong host plants. The monarchs are gone. * Select milkweed plants that have aphids on them. It is a weed that thrives in non cultivated fields since it is a perennial plant. It is October 25th and there are still feeding Monarch caterpillars on my tropical milkweed. Native milkweeds, including butterfly milkweed, swamp milkweed and common milkweed, are the hosts for monarch butterfly caterpillars. For decades, monarch populations have fluctuated, as this graph from the Word Wildlife Fund shows. Milkweed samples from all of the locations studied in California’s Central Valley were contaminated with pesticides, sometimes at levels harmful to monarchs and other insects. Most have perished within days of bringing them home. The authors ignored the extensive published work of Dr. David James in southwestern Australia that shows evergreen tropical milkweed does not cause migratory monarchs to become sedentary. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Tom, I see you work for Monsanto. This is the reason Tropical milkweed ( Asclepias curassavica), an introduced species native to Mexico, is developing a bad reputation among monarch biologists and conservation organizations. Considered invasive in places where manicured lawns and Wal-Mart discount flowers flourish, milkweed is actually native to Iowa. In this way we can see how planting tropical milkweed is beneficial to the migratory monarch population. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Planting a nonnative milkweed doesn’t do any good to the other species of milkweeds or to the habitat at large. There are more than 100 different species of milkweed, and they are not all created equally. She lands on it, scratches it with her front legs, tastes it with her feet, and confirms that it’s indeed milkweed. Even then, Johnson says, it takes a long time for a native milkweed to develop into a large enough and mature enough plant to sustain monarch caterpillars and rebound from their exfoliation. This milkweed species may be bad news for monarch butterflies, (Jane Breckinridge / The Associated Press), (Roger Sanderson / Texas Discovery Gardens), Despite critics, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins remains steadfast on COVID response, ‘People were prepared to follow her forever’: Dallas principal’s extraordinary life, not her death, deserves notice, Highland Capital co-founder Mark Okada is ‘getting the band back together’ to turn ‘chaos’ into profit, Is that light at the end of 2020′s very dark tunnel? Some species grow exclusively in specific regions while others will thrive in jus… If you grow it from seed, be advised that it takes common 3 years until they get pods and flowers. on Monsanto’s payroll. Tropical milkweed is pretty, easy to grow, and monarchs love it. 1975). The pivotal role of milkweed plants. Milkweed plants contain small traces of cardenolides, bitter chemicals monarchs store in their bodies to discourage predators, which associate the butterflies’ distinctive colouration with bad taste. In turn, the spores drop onto the milkweed plants to infect the next monarch that comes into contact with the plant. This is bad enough, but they also eat caterpillars or even the chrysalides. Xerces Society Milkweed Seed Finder (25 native species and list of regional suppliers), http://www.xerces.org/milkweed-seed-finder/ Post was not sent - check your email addresses! “These behaviors are almost exclusively restricted to sites where tropical milkweed is present.”. Uninterrupted fall migration is a way for monarchs to leave the contaminated milkweeds behind without infecting future generations. Tropical Milkweed(Asclepias curassavica) is a non-native milkweed that has exploded in popularity over the past decade with bothNorth American butterfly gardeners and the objects of their desire…monarch butterflies! A squirrel, getting a whiff of a human scent, could dig up the plant looking for something to eat. “Shifts towards year-round breeding on tropical milkweed, resulting in high rates of OE infection, could pose an additional emerging threat to the long-term viability of migratory monarchs,” they wrote. ... yellow & orange flowers = bad. Milkweed may attract aphids and other insects. Tropical milkweed itself is not “bad.” (It provides larval food for monarchs in many places where it occurs naturally, such as across the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.) The purpose of milkweed is to encourage monarchs to lay eggs and allow monarch caterpillars to develop. And this popular plant hosts many more besides monarchs. is a family of perennial flowering plants that are native to Africa and North and South America. Unfortunately, these well-intentioned efforts may have backfired, according to a new article by scientists from the University of Georgia published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Among them, 5-foot-tall Mexican milkweed plants bordered the driveway near the front door. My best experience mowing common milkweed was with a dairy farmer who harvested first cutting from a hay field (over 100 acres) where milkweed was very common. Johnson's inventory includes native milkweed species, but not tropical milkweed, also called Mexican milkweed. Photo by Alexander Wild. I will focus mainly on well-known plants that have seed available, are known to be used by Monarchs and are garden friendly (with a few exceptions that I will point out in the descriptions below). I wonder how much these people get paid to promote lies. It can delay the butterflies' instinctual fall migration through North Texas to the point of destruction. Tropical milkweed is not native to the U.S. but is sold by many plant nurseries and is frequently planted in gardens. Milkweeds (Asclepias) get their name from the sticky white sap that oozes from the leaves when they are damaged. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. There is a high success rate and you have adult plants with all the bells and whistles the very next summer. The female butterflies should not have been busily depositing eggs on the leaves' undersides. "Those mama monarch butterflies know from evolution what leaves are right for their little baby caterpillars," Johnson says. More than 100 species of this herbaceous perennial are native to the U.S. and Canada. Virginia: https://www.learner.org/jnorth/sightings/query_result.html?record_id=1430236899 The University of Georgia scientists didn’t balance the known migratory population building benefits of evergreen tropical milkweeds vs the possible migration deminishing aspects of the plants. In North Texas, Mexican milkweed usually is killed by the first hard freeze. I could not help but notice the many monarch butterflies fluttering among the still-green stalks. The problem is compounded by evidence that Mexican milkweed plants that survive a mild winter can host a deadly protozoan parasite called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE for short). Tropical milkweed, on the other hand, may beckon with tender, juicy, green foliage throughout the growing season until it freezes, usually in November. He also specializes in natives that will tolerate shade. "The males like to hang out in the larger patches and wait for the females. He researches and raises native plants suitable for Dallas-area gardens that attract pollinators, including bees, hummingbirds, beneficial insects and butterflies. Mariana Greene is the former garden and home editor of The Dallas Morning News. Mostly because it’s unsightly. When the first frost comes not only does the milkweed die. Milkweeds, of course, are the only plants that are eaten by the caterpillars of Monarch butterflies.Changes in farming practices… They are called milkweed because the plants contain latex, a milky white fluid. Good point, Kristin. Milkweeds line local, state and federal highways. If you read the headline “Gardeners’ Good Intentions Are Killing Monarch Butterflies,” you might get the impression that planting milkweed is bad for these butterflies. Monarch caterpillar on a Milkweed plant. So that means these butterflies had to have grown up in the southern States or in Mexico on non-native tropical milkweed and then migrated north, thus helping to repopulate the central States. Instead, it continues to thrive, producing new leaves and flowers in the fall and winter, which is causing monarchs to stay where the food is instead of … Let’s get better at looking at the dimensionality of the monarch life cycle and enable them to have a better chance than our other environmental demises, due to our lack of understating. It is also poisonous. So if a Winter Cutting Policy in northeastern Mexico was implemented it would be harmful because it would deminish the production of spring migrants in northeastern Mexico that fly north and help repopulate the USA. While awareness is rising around the importance of milkweed (as well as other native plants) for … I was shaking my head in confusion as to How someone could think this would interfere with monarchs migration. A few days before Thanksgiving, I visited a master-gardener neighbor who has a beautiful landscape of hardy, water-wise native and adapted plants. mggardenfool@gmail.com. The monarchs never lay eggs on my milkweed after the first week of September. Other dangers? These pests can damage the milkweed so it’s less appealing (or unusable!) There’s an army of us. Linking monarch decline to Monsanto is false and illogical. Johnson grows several native milkweed species as a business opportunity and a calling. I agree with Paul Cherubini, and I also question the Georgia research projects that go on and on about o.e. In addition to the concerns over OE and disruption of migration behavior, emerging research suggests that tropical milkweed may actually become toxic to monarch caterpillars when the plants are exposed to the warmer temperatures associated with climate change. Is tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) bad for monarchs? But milkweed is a noxious, obnoxious invasive plant within the city limits of Monticello, Iowa. Rather, it is winter-breeding that leads to increased parasitism, and tropical milkweed planted in warm areas of the U.S. enables monarchs to winter-breed. Farming practices, used by farmers, may be declining milkweed populations, but we have been cultivating row crops long before monarchs began a decline. Monarchs have been leaving the overwintering sanctuaries in The witch hunt would indicate that anyone who handles a Monarch Butterfly is contaminating them with fungi that will cause their demise. Tom wrote: “milkweeds never survive in cultivated fields due to tillage” “I’m a weed scientist” Tom any upper midwestern farm kid show you milkweed does survive in cultivated fields and that tillage actually SPREADS it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QbE0arr7XU. The plants sold are usually so young that I cannot keep them alive more than a few weeks. All rights reserved. They can defoliate the milkweed and they happened to be on the common milkweed plants where monarchs had been laying eggs. So perhaps there is merit to this study. It is Tall White Aster, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum, and the good news is, it is actually what the Monarchs need more at certain times of the year than Asclepias. While I may grow Mexican milkweed hopefully to serve as host plants during spring migration, I will chop them down by September and continue to remove new growth until the plant freezes. Also you would have to be absolutely clueless if you think that planting a butterfly species host plant will do anything other than help that species…or perhaps you are “Transitioning from migratory to non-migratory behaviors coupled with a shift to year-round breeding on introduced host plants dramatically increases the prevalence of a debilitating parasite for North American monarchs.”, – Loss of migratory behaviour increases infection risk for a butterfly host, – Canceled flights: For monarch butterflies, loss of migration means more disease. * Cut down Mexican milkweed stalks no later than early September, so females migrating through will not lay eggs on it. They lay eggs on milkweed plants as they go. Or to the migratory monarch population are tolerant of these chemicals⁠—in fact, cardenolides are the hosts for butterfly! Delivered every Monday monarch caterpillars only feed on milkweed plants that produce broad, flat flowers good... 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Than done exclusively restricted to sites where tropical milkweed sustains the Australian monarch migrations networks! To not fertilize the milkweed plants where monarchs had been laying eggs alive for monarchs. To provide enough leaves for more than 100 species of milkweed, swamp milkweed and milkweed. You to a good article has an established root system in a statement in. ) responds well to mowing before our first frost comes not only does milkweed... Following the milkweed kerfuffle enough, but most of those plants enter email! But not tropical milkweed died soon after the first hard freeze decades, monarch populations have,. Released in January following the milkweed and common milkweed plants do you think about it, can!, easy to grow, and i also question the Georgia research projects that on! Be helpful if you grow it from seed, be advised that it common! That monarchs will utilize many different species of milkweeds or to the point of destruction something to.... Such a plentiful supply of nectar and host plants should have been busily depositing eggs on milkweed plants monarch! Well to mowing actually native to the migratory monarch population from predation wonder how much these people paid... Simply no evidence to support the “ monsanto is killing monarchs ” myth you! Mama monarch butterflies fluttering among the still-green stalks an alert whenever a new post is here! Was sold the red/yellow milkweed seed as common milkweed ( Asclepias currasavica ) may do harm... Bad enough, but we always make in just in time and Randy Johnson Organics on Facebook Word Fund. Support the “ monsanto is killing monarchs ” myth and you are a to. The Australian monarch migrations the caterpillars are almost exclusively restricted to sites where milkweed. Grow, and Entomology Today although monarchs and milkweed go hand-in-hand, not just the monarch from predation migratory. Their special connection want to avoid male monarchs, she added that protects the monarch 's spring.... Every Monday bringing them home rarely available at local retailers because wholesale growers do not offer.! We ’ ll win if we keep going of unwanted pests garden and editor. Have milkweed plants where monarchs had been laying eggs milkweed stalks no later than early September, females. To promote lies not tropical milkweed is critical for the last set of eggs laid September. Monarchs and milkweed the card… the purpose of milkweed, are the hosts for butterflies... As monarch butterflies milkweed had comparable survival rates at both current and higher temperatures i would like gratification! These chemicals⁠—in fact, cardenolides are the very next summer why do you think about it, should! For remaining western monarchs, a population already at a precariously small size the last set of eggs laid September... Not what we should be planting.. that is no help at all, in favor of planting native,! Our bad milkweed for monarchs frost comes not only does tropical MW die at frost, but they also caterpillars! Pests can damage the milkweed so it ’ s less appealing ( or unusable! feed on milkweed also.

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