I was very excited the other day to look out and see my poke milkweed was blooming! I planted three last year, and none survived. I put in three more this year, and of those, only one is still hanging in there, and is blooming! I'm very excited.
Apparently the ants are pretty excited, too, for each flower had at least one ant on it!
Knowing that the butterfly weeds and common milkweeds were already blooming, too, I walked around the yard to see if any of my other milkweeds were surviving and blooming. Things are not looking very promising. No signs of any of the tall green milkweeds, but I did find one green milkweed (not tall green milkweed, just plain old ordinary green milkweed) had buds.
On the corner of the house the swamp milkweed from two years ago is getting ready to bloom, too. I think it's happy being by the downspout.
Out in the side yard, where I've planted several native grassland plants (in an area where grass has just not grown), I found only one sand milkweed still in the running (for some reason Blogger insists on turning the photo sideways).
And later, out in my wildflower bed that borders what was my vegetable garden (but this year is nothing but weeds weeds weeds), the whorled milkweed seems to be doing okay, too.
Last year's purple milkweed (rare) and tall green milkweed, and last year's sand milkweed did not survive. I was unable to get purple this year, and I hope the sand takes hold and does okay. It looked like only one of the three I planted this year is still alive.
Why Year of the Milkweed? Because monarchs are having a difficult time. Numbers crashed last summer and over the winter, and anything we can do to help, which is mostly planting their host plants (milkweed) will help. I have only seen a couple monarchs so far this year...it's not looking good. A co-worker found three eggs so far...one died, but two are now chrysalises.
Do what you can to help: plant milkweed.