I live in San Antonio Texas and have been growing tropical milkweed in my part sun/part shade garden for several years. These pests can damage the milkweed so it’s less appealing (or unusable!) I don’t want to cut back the plant because then the caterpillars might starve, but I don’t want them to get stranded here over winter. , Agree. Tom, just to be clear, my comment has nothing to do with success or failure of the Monarch eggs collected or the potential for breeding changes. Monarch butterfly caterpillar on milkweed, its host plant. Hi, I have been raising Monarchs in my backyard for the past couple of years with what I thought was good success… 60-75 seemingly healthy Monarchs both years with a couple of cripple butterflies, maybe 5 chrysalises that turned black unevenly and never hatched. :). ~MaMa Monarch. It is Tall White Aster, Symphyotrichum lanceolatum, and the good news is, it is actually what the Monarchs need more at certain times of the year than Asclepias. If you raise monarchs you could always cut back your tropical now and use the cuttings to feed these final monarchs. Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Hi John, it was not my intent to insult native purists, but it is my belief that the small percentage that refuse to see any benefit to growing tropical milkweed are doing so largely because of their purist point of view, and not because of logical conclusions resulting from careful research. Otherwise, they should probably be OK outside too. This milkweed species may be bad news for monarch butterflies Mexican milkweed, also known as tropical milkweed, delays the butterflies' instinctual … I’d heard some controversy about milkweeds, that we shouldn’t be planting Tropical Milkweed, but I wasn’t sure. Hi Barbara, lethargic and spitting green liquid is a symptom of pesticide exposure.You might want to cut back your milkweed plants to about 12″ and let healthy new growth emerge. We ask that before unsupported speculation further disrupts public opinion about milkweeed and the planting of NATIVE ASCLEPIAS CURASSAVICA that writers show real evidence, not just pose question and other’s actions. Through the spring and early summer, we had plenty of butterflies visiting, but never seemed to find larvae. We capture the seeds and let the pods dry out over the winter. May 15, 2017. Char, thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with milkweed gardening and raising monarchs. Well, in late November I found some chrysalises hiding in my asters. This was a banner year for incarnata and I’m still feeding our caterpillars with it. So if a Winter Cutting Policy in northeastern Mexico was implemented it would be harmful because it would deminish the production of spring migrants in northeastern Mexico that fly north and help repopulate the USA. The leaves of non-natives like tropical milkweed and balloon plant (Gomphocarpus physocarpus) stay viable from first leaf until first frost. I have moved to southern Florida where I luckily have wild milkweed on the property. Re: OE – hard to believe it’s a problem in plants that are eaten to the bare stems twice a year. https://www.learner.org/jnorth/sightings/query_result.html?record_id=1427199803 I’m reading many articles on the potential problems with tropical milkweed. Milkweed Leaf Miners. 2016 Update- with more gardeners planting tropical milkweed, the overwintering population in Mexico grew 3.5 times: from 57 million monarchs…to 200 million! Just today I cut back to about 12 inches but was reluctant to cut further as I still have at least a 5 or 6 ts on my 8 or 10 plants. I have a large yard with over 100 tropical fruit trees and I also keep bees and so I started planting some extra nectar plants for them and then remembered that monarchs like milkweed as it seems do all the nectar eating insects and so I planted one tropical milkweed. Yes, many eggs were laid per plant, yes the caterpillars devoured the plants, loved it. Based on what they read an d replicate from media rather than science, the so-called conservationists took up the cause. There is no way that the OE spores can be spread to adult monarchs nectaring on tropical milkweed flowers. The success of science is the long trail of detritus–theories and hypotheses that failed to be true. OE exists even without ASCLEPIAS CURASSAVICA. As for your deformity issue it’s hard to say: OE? My point is that I think some native purists aren’t open to discussing options other than tropical milkweed removal. They are called milkweed because the plants contain latex, a milky white fluid. Glyphosate herbicide is off patent and their are hundreds of manufacturers. good luck! I’ve got only one tropical milkweed and I live in Florida. It would seem the monarchs are taking other environmental cues to start their fall migration. You can also stagger the cuttings so you have milkweed available if you need it. I am coming from another angle. The tropical is starting to leaf out again. Tropical Milkweed(Asclepias curassavica) is a non-native milkweed that has exploded in popularity over the past decade with both North American butterfly gardeners and the objects of their desire…monarch butterflies! Large milkweed bugs are herbivorous - they feed on the leaves, stems, and seeds of milkweed using their long proboscis. IT WAS THE WORST MISTAKE I HAVE EVER MADE. I appreciate your insight and I sure hope you are right! Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. I looked at this so-called science about a year or so ago. This year was my latest sighting for the Monarch and a couple were observed on Oct. 26 nectaring on crownbeard. I have many native plants & some ornamentals, yet I am tolerant of others who have a belief that is different from mine. I didn’t know about the controversy but I do cut mine back a couple of times a year to encourage fresh new growth. As you know, it seeds a lot so it may become invasive. Cal like the Tropical plants over the Native Woolies that I have. I am confused about some of these posts. If milkweed leaves get infested with bugs or start looking diseased I would cut back those parts of the plant and discard them. I kept thinking I would do it and propagate the cuttings. You know that, & yet you continue to use this term. We went to the event the sanctuary had mid February to say good bye to the migrating Monarchs, but most were already gone and there were so few to start with, there were barely any left. I bought 50 plants. If Tuberosa works for you in California, keep on doing what works. Most of the Milkweed I have is the Tropical kind. Your thoughtful comments are much appreciated! So what kind of milkweed should be planted? Over the years we have modified our message to include the use of Native varieties of Milkweed due to the contacts of well meaning people that read ” Milkweed hurting the monarchs” or the like and we would like to put forth our scientific observation over 13 years. But relying on a single type of plant for survival is a risky strategy that has put monarchs in grave danger. Please show your EVIDENCE , PROOF, so we can peer review your findings. Over the years (I have lived here well over 30 years) we would go to the Sanctuary in the winter to see the immense amount of Monarchs all in clusters hanging from the eucalyptus trees. I had never had this problem using wild milkweed varieties up east, or in Florida.