Attracting wildlife to your landscape is a great step toward Florida-Friendly Landscaping™. Butterfly gardening is one way to create a habitat for wildlife. Many gardeners choose milkweed as part of a diverse planting used in attracting butterflies. Milkweed is a host plant for Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). However, going to your local box-store and picking up whatever species of milkweed is available may not be the best choice for Monarchs. Not just any Milkweed will do.
There are several species of Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) and many are native to Florida. However, the most commonly found is the non-native, Tropical or Scarlet Milkweed (.Ophryocystis elektroscirrha
It is best to choose native milkweed species. The most commonly found at your local native nurseries include Pinewoods Milkweed (Asclepias humistrata), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), White Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis), and
Pinewoods Milkweed (A. humistrata) are better suited for dry soil conditions. Whereas, Swamp Milkweed (A. incarnata) and Aquatic Milkweed (A. perennis) prefer moist to wet soil conditions. White Milkweed (A. verticillata) is adaptable to both dry and moist soil conditions.
|Non-native Tropical Milkweed|
Daniels, Jaret. “Are Non-native Milkweeds Killing Monarch Butterflies?”. Florida Wildflower Foundation (blog). http://floridawildflowerfoundation.blogspot.com/2012/01/are-non-native-milkweeds-killing.html
Oliver, Katherine. “Creating a Healthy Monarch Habitat”. UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County (blog). http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/manateeco/2015/09/03/creating-a-healthy-monarch-habitat/
UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions. “Milkweed”. http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/milkweed.html