Three years ago, I decided to incorporate some unusual flowers thar most might not find in my area.
I was immediately taken by this beautiful white beardtongue and knew it was going into my pollinator garden.
She will bloom for maybe 6-8 weeks, then I will cut down to the red leaves that offer protection against the elements. They like sunshine and moist soil. The bee and hummingbird contingent stay close to the beardtongue.
As always, they are fertilized with products from my friends at Eden BlueGold. When the plant begins to re-emerge in the Spring, I give it a dose of Compost Fusion Veg. After it begins budding, I fertilize with Fusion Compost Flower I give her a generous spray with Vibrant Floral.
My 20 year old red rose deserves the best applications I can use on her.
I only use the products in the Rose System Box from Eden BlueGold. It only takes a minute to add the measured contents to a gallon of water. Soak the roots well, then add different products from the box to water and liberally spray your roses.
I won’t use anything but Rose System Box on my roses.
I was busy the last few days getting my zinnia garden planted. Since I mostly take a hands off approach to raising monarchs, I hadn’t checked on them that particular day.
This one was sunnin on his milkweed and poopin. A very light shake of the leaf removes their frass (poop) without a problem. Shake the leaf, not the entire plant. Anything out of the ordinary scares the caterpillar and he’ll get frightened and poop more.
Just a reminder to avoid buying milkweed at the “big box stores” because some of their suppliers treat the milkweed before it arrives at the store. A caterpillar eating contaminated milkweed WILL die a miserable death. Get your milkweed from a nursery with their own greenhouse or buy it from joyfulbutterfly.com
Water your small plants daily until they are established.
And if you are wanting to grow milkweed yourself for next year, now is the time to start your balloon/hairy balls milkweed in order for it to be ready by next spring.
It’s always best to remember that one monarch caterpillar can eat an entire plant during their 5 stages of growth. Like teenagers, they have a voracious appetite. It’s better to err on the side of caution and plant more milkweed than you’ll think you need.
This monarch instar is eating tropical milkweed purchased from joyfulbutterfly.com It’s crucial to remember that when buying milkweed make sure it has been grown in a pesticide free environment. Try and not buy it from the “big box stores” because odds are, it’s been sprayed and those products will absolutely kill monarch caterpillars. Buy your milkweed from a local greenhouse or a reputable nursery online.
Wild Blue Indigo is one of the first perennial to grow in my garden. It fits in anywhere you plant it. It does spread but it isn’t aggressive and adds an amazing pop of color. It’s also available in cream or yellow and I hope to add more plants this Fall.
Wild Indigo is a host plant to Duskywings, Clouded Sulphur, and several more butterflies. I purchased my indigo at Prairie Moon
I take pride in growing my own milkweed supply to feed the monarch caterpillars.
However, I don’t always start mine as soon as I should (beginner mistake), so I supplement mine with milkweed grown by the amazing team at Joyful Butterfly
They are a family owned business in South Carolina that sell both butterfly host plants as well as flowers that provide nectar for bees and butterflies.
My purchases from them are always viable and big and immediately ready to go in the ground. Their plants are raised in a pesticide free environment and I know I’m giving my caterpillars (not just monarchs) quality plants. I cannot say enough positive things about the team at Joyful Butterfly.