A few quick items

A couple of quick things today.

I recently wrote an article through my Medium account that was ultimately picked up by the website – “The Good Men Project”. It’s all about my love for flowers and how it plays into gender. I would love for you to check it out if you get a chance. You can read it here:

I Love Flowers, I’m a Dude

Also, if you haven’t seen it already, Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) was named the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year.

I have tried for years to grow this plant in my garden and it has never thrived. My assumption has always been that my soil is to wet for it survive the winter but wanted to get all of your thoughts? I have had it reseed each year but again, it has never established itself beyond one season.




11 thoughts on “A few quick items

  1. Laura

    I’ve had butterfly weed and wild lupine complete failures myself. I assume it’s my clay soil. I’m trying cold moist stratification for the first time this year, and am hoping a start from seed might work? We’ll see.

    Since I am all about the square peg in the round hole, I also bought seeds for delphinium exaltatum , callirhoe involucrata and linum lewisi. Could be a complete disaster, but if one of them survives, then it was all worth it! There is a butterfly weed for clay (http://www.prairienursery.com/store/native-plants/butterflyweed-for-clay-asclepias-tuberosa-var-clay#.WHT4RH1GN8A), but not sure if I can get my hands on it in Canada.

    P.S. I commented on your article, I enjoyed it. Although my husband is not a gardener, he is confident enough not to feel pressure to conform to social constructs of masculinity. I aspire not to give a #$% about others’ opinions as much as he does!

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Thanks as always, for the comments Laura!! I’m currently growing Swamp Milkweed with great success in my wet clay soil and it happily reseeds as well. I’m going to try Butterfly Weed yet again because I am a glutton for punishment.

  2. Diane St John

    It took me three tries to get the right spot for tuberosa. Now it reseeds readily and has turned into a hedge on the south side of my house. I LOVE it! It likes dry, well drained soil in my CT yard. Seeds pop up in the stone patio. They grow next to my air conditioning unit in gravel too. The first year it is planted from a container purchased plant, it is kind of wimpy. If it makes it, it becomes stronger each year. I chop much of it in 1/2 when it is about 14-16″ tall and it branches and gets more flowers. I get many, many monarch eggs on the flower buds each July. They hatch and go into the flower bud for protection and eat. I have raised loads of monarchs and tuberosa is a favorite of theirs in my garden. I wish I could post a photo here for you!

    1. jmarkowski Post author

      Thanks Diane for the feedback. Now I just need to find one well drained area in the garden. It is too awesome to give up on.

  3. Deborah

    I believe your assumption that your soil could be too damp as rightfully the answer.
    Butterfly weed loves full sun most of the day, and grows best on the dry side (somewhat sandy soil) to thrive.
    That has been my success with it!

  4. Beth @ PlantPostings

    My Butterfly Weed took a couple of years to establish, and then it kicked in big time! Once established, it has a very deep taproot. A very sunny location is the best, and it likes to drain or be on the dry side. I planted sand in the soil with mine. I agree with Sharon–Swamp Milkweed works well in moist or normal soil conditions. It can even take a little shade. I don’t know if this is a common experience, but in my case, Butterfly Weed seems to grow well from seed, while I’ve had better luck starting Swamp Milkweed in pots first and then transplanting them in the garden. I’ve found the most Monarch eggs on Swamp Milkweed, and the caterpillars seem to prefer it when given options of various Milkweed species. But Butterfly Weed is a great nectar source for many pollinators! Good luck!

  5. Holly

    I was going to suggest the butterfly weed for clay from Prairie Nursery as well. I always end up raising more milkweed tussock moths than monarchs, but they’re cute too.
    I have the opposite problem, trying to will plants that need moist soil to live in my dry.

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