Monarch butterfly/milkweed

(Question)

I’ve paid attention to David Suzuki’s request to plant milkweed for the monarch butterflys – swamp milkweed seems the best for a small garden & I’ve sourced a local supplier. my question is regarding the caterpillers produced by the monarch’s eggs – is it true that they only eat milkweed? or will they migrate to other plants in the garden?
would appreciate any info or tips.

(Answer)

Good for you for planning to plant a Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)  with the Monarch Butterfly in mind.  Milkweeds are well known for their role in the life cycle of butterflies, particularly Monarchs as they act as larval host plants, the caterpillars need this plant and this plant alone to complete their lifecycle.   Swamp milkweed grow 1-3′ (0.3-0.9m) high and can be divided in early spring, or started from seeds that mature in early fall.

The Swamp milkweed is also featured in detail in the following publication:

https://www.nanps.org/images/Blazing_Star/Blazing_Sum07.pdf

The adult butterflies of course will appreciate many other pollinator plants .

You can learn more about pollinator plants by visiting www.davidsuzuki.org, or www.pollinator.org or www.pollinationcanada.ca.

I hope you have the pleasure of seeing many butterflies visit your plant this season.