The problem with milkweed

If you may remember, this year I let the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) grow a bit wild. This plant spreads by rhizomes to form colonies, and I let it for the most part, removing only those stems that came up in the middle of the path.

All to attract Monarch butterflies of course -- of which I saw a handful. And to feed the monarch caterpillars -- of which I saw none. The milkweed has flopped all over the place now, and I'm tired of it.


Blocking the path, looking ugly... I chopped it back:

I didn't dig up any of the roots so it will be coming up everywhere next year, but at least I have my path cleared (somewhat)...

...and things are looking more tidy.

Hopefully the monarchs have found other places nearby to lay their eggs and that's why they didn't use my patch, but I'm also hoping that next year is more productive in the caterpillar area.


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Chickadee Gardens  – (September 14, 2015 at 8:28 AM) you can cut it back without consequence? That's a fine idea...maybe I'll do the same as some of mine is also-a-floppin'.

outlawgardener  – (September 14, 2015 at 9:02 AM)  

Looks much better cut back. Lots of plants are looking a bit floppy in my garden right now. Some get cut back others get to wait for winter to do the cleaning for me.

Alan  – (September 16, 2015 at 7:09 AM)  

Tamara: I believe so. There will be so many stalks coming up next year I'm not worried about it.

Peter: I had no idea plants misbehaved in the PNW. Glad to hear it's not as perfect a place to garden as it seems from a distance. :)

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