Monarch caterpillars ©jcleveland

Milkweed and Monarch Butterflies p2

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While I was trying to do everything the natural way, as part of that natural way, those milkweed bugs were munching on more than my milkweed; they were adding protein to their diet and eating monarch caterpillars. Once I figured out what was happening, I decided that natural wasn’t working for me.

In all fairness to the milkweed bugs, if your property is being overrun with milkweed, the bugs do work to keep everything trimmed back to a manageable size. The aphids brought in ladybugs that were not in as much abundance as was needed to curb the aphids, and for a while, I thought the little baby milkweed bugs were ladybug babies that I did not want to destroy.

I had every intention of dumping the plants onto a vacant lot next door and giving up on the whole thing, but at the last minute, I trimmed the plants back to the root and removed all of the bugs. If nothing else, I thought I would have some beautiful flowers.

All in all, my start to 2022 milkweed garden was a huge loss. I was afraid that I had missed the season because of the pests. 

That wasn’t the end of the grand milkweed plans, though. Apparently, monarchs lay eggs all year round in Florida. There was hope after all. 

pt 2 of 4
Read part 3 here

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