Milkweed flowers wilting.

secuono

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Messages
1,695
Reaction score
1,311
Points
287
Location
VA
I've got tons of wild milkweed. Two huge patches that need to be removed, in hay field. Have a tiny patch by the mailbox.
Saved some seeds from last year to give away. Got busy and forgot to do that.
Found two other milkweed varieties last year, one was swamp milkweed and other I forgot the name of.
Never seen a Monarch until last week. It failed to form one wing tip properly and was in a huge zigzag spider web. Got it out and the bit of idk what off the wing and it flew away.
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
7,906
Reaction score
6,458
Points
317
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
I've got tons of wild milkweed. Two huge patches that need to be removed, in hay field. Have a tiny patch by the mailbox.
Saved some seeds from last year to give away. Got busy and forgot to do that.
Found two other milkweed varieties last year, one was swamp milkweed and other I forgot the name of.
Never seen a Monarch until last week. It failed to form one wing tip properly and was in a huge zigzag spider web. Got it out and the bit of idk what off the wing and it flew away.
it is too bad that you can't fence some of it off and then deep till around that to remove it. i know it's likely a huge PITA but wild critters also need some habitat/food. for control of the roots to keep them from spreading a root barrier may be worth it... having equipment to do a trench quickly would be very nice (i dig by hand around here).

just thinking aloud and hoping... :)
 

secuono

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Messages
1,695
Reaction score
1,311
Points
287
Location
VA
Tons of Monarchs today!! =0
Took a few videos of them, counted at least 9 of them. There were more earlier in the day. They were flying around like madmen and arguing with others, wouldn't sit still.
20180905_173813.jpg
 

secuono

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jun 1, 2011
Messages
1,695
Reaction score
1,311
Points
287
Location
VA
You can see some of the huge patches here in these old pics.
FB_IMG_1536194493328.jpg FB_IMG_1536194453892.jpg
 

catjac1975

Garden Master
Joined
Jul 22, 2010
Messages
8,432
Reaction score
7,210
Points
397
Location
Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
I have been asking myself both questions. It has been dry here the past few weeks, but nothing approaching drought conditions. It is raining today and rain is predicted all this week, so I guess we'll see if this makes a difference. On our walk yesterday my husband asked the same thing - "Did we just not notice this before?" - but both our memories are of the flower heads retaining their shape as the florets dropped off, much like allium flower heads. It is a pity that I have no photos from previous years of the spent flowers, but then I tend to photograph blooms at their peak, rather than after they have gone by.

I did get these two pictures today. The first is one of the few "normal" milkweed plants with a tiger swallowtail visiting a flower in bloom and a normal gone-to-seed head on the same stalk, as I remember them from past years. The second is one of the many plants suffering from the droops. The only encouraging thing about it is the formation of seed pods that show in the lower photo. I guess time will tell.

View attachment 27540

View attachment 27541
Aren't they just going by?
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
7,906
Reaction score
6,458
Points
317
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
i moved six of the little caterpillars off some plants out front that were almost bare of leaves and took them to the plants out back where they would have a lot more to munch on. i didn't stick around for too long to watch them, but they were at least not curled up thinking i was going to be mean to them when i left.

i'll have to check them out tomorrow to see if they've been feeding.
 

ninnymary

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
11,939
Reaction score
10,381
Points
417
Location
San Francisco East Bay
I planted a couple of milkweeds for the first time and I was so happy when I had 8 larvae. I check on them every day. The leaves have all been eaten and yesterday there were only 2 larvae. I can't find any chrysilis nearby. I'm wondering since they were exposed without the leaf coverage if birds ate them. :( I sure hope not.

Mary
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
7,906
Reaction score
6,458
Points
317
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
I planted a couple of milkweeds for the first time and I was so happy when I had 8 larvae. I check on them every day. The leaves have all been eaten and yesterday there were only 2 larvae. I can't find any chrysilis nearby. I'm wondering since they were exposed without the leaf coverage if birds ate them. :( I sure hope not.

Mary
they are rumored to taste horrible enough that once a bird tries to eat one it won't ever do it again. the toxins in the milkweeds are those which the cattepillar concentrate to protect itself. as the species has been mostly ok for quite a long number of years in cohabitation with plenty of birds i think this method has done well for it.

i've usually not been able to find the cocoons either.

i just think they're so cute, the stripes and the little black feelers waving around. :)
 

ninnymary

Garden Master
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
11,939
Reaction score
10,381
Points
417
Location
San Francisco East Bay
I have 2 milkweeds planted in my tiny perenial bed and they are stripped of all their leaves. I don't like the bare space so I guess I'm just going to have to plant something in there tighter.

I'm also trying to create a monarch habitat tiny garden in another area. Underneath a persimmon tree I have planted a yarrow, wild fushia, and another plant which are filling in nicely. The 2 tuberosa milkweeds in the back are also doing well but they are starting to be eaten by the caterpillars. The good thing is that they are in the back of the bed so not as visible.

The kids and mostly me, haha have enjoyed looking for those caterpillars.

Mary
 
Top