It wasn't hard to make, and I had everything I needed at home. I found terracotta saucer and a small pot, in my shed. I could have used a shallow dish or a pie pan. I added small rocks to give the butterflies a place to land before I filled it with water. Sand and kitchen sponges are also recommended.
I want to keep the beautiful flying creators happy, so I'll remember to add water often.
Because I used a plant that already lives in my yard, and I recycled the other items, this project was free.
I’m sure your desire to attract butterflies to your yard was what made you pick me. I will not disappoint you. They can't resist me. They are attracted to other milkweeds too, so feel free to adopt others in my family.
I'm essential to the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. I'm their host plant. They drink my nectar and lay their eggs on my green leaves. Five to ten days later the hungry caterpillars, or larva, break free from the eggs. They spend the next 10 to 14 days filling their bellies. They devour every part of me. They eat the stalks to the ground, so you might want to plant more of my family, in your garden. Don't worry. Providing butterflies their nutrients is my job, and I will grow back. Milkweed is not only important to Monarch Butterflies. It is also the host plant for the Queens and Gray Hairstreak Butterflies. Did you know I'm important for bees too? Bees pollinate plants that feed people, so by planting milkweed, you will provide a positive impact on our environment.
If we are going to live in North America, there is something important you should know about me. Unlike other milkweeds, who are native to this country, I will continue to flourish into the fall. I can be detrimental to the Monarch migration. The butterflies will have the nourishment they need, and won't migrate south to Mexico. When a freeze occurs, the butterflies and caterpillars will die. For the sake of the Butterflies and their natural need to migrate please, remember to cut me back in the fall. Don't worry, I will grow back, in the spring. If you would rather take me into a warmer environment, over the winter, that will be fine too.
In the fall my green seed pods turn brown and slightly crack open. If my pods are allowed to burst open the seeds will drift with the wind, and produce a new plant where they land. You can harvest the brown pods and either plant the seeds directly into the ground, or share them with friends.
Lastly, I want you to know I'm not a difficult plant to grow. Once I'm established the sun and heat won't bother me. Water me well the first season, but after that, I will be fine with the water nature provides. I might attract aphids, but spray from a water hose will rid me of those pesky little creatures.
Thank you for choosing me for your garden, and enjoy the butterflies.
Hugs and butterfly kisses,