Cedar Rock Gardens
The container says distributed by Home Depot, 2455 Paces Ferry Rd N. W., Atlanta , Georgia.
Milkweed can be purchased from these local sources:
Garden Club member Mary Writes, I purchased a Milkweed plant from Home Depot near my home and it wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the little information stick hidden behind the identification information that the plant had been treated with systemic Neonicotinoids. The container boasted how desirable the plant is for birds and butterflies. Yesterday I went to a different Home Depot and they had just put out an entire rolling cart of these plants, maybe about 100, all poisoned. I contacted the store manager and told him that it is the same as giving poison candy to kids on Halloween. This is THE host plant for the Monarch. My club, Shady Oaks and our junior club, Little Shadows have worked so hard to establish a Monarch Waystation and to educate people on the decline of the Monarch. I hate to think of the millions of poison Milkweed being distributed nationwide by Home Depot.
GMG Readers, Wednesday I am planning to check to see if our local Home Depots are also selling milkweeds with pesticide. I don’t purchase plants from Home Depot as they are generally of a much poorer quality, however I have in a pinch.
I contacted the Monarch Watch organization www.MonarchWatch.org/waystations at the University of Kansas (1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045) .
It needs to be sent soon as these plants are being sold now to well meaning people who are wanting to help the Monarch and not kill them. I hate to think of the billions of plants being sold nationwide and how that will cancel the efforts of so many to stop the demise of the Monarch. Could you please help?
I contacted the LSU Ag Agent for New Orleans, Dr Joe Willis. He said the Neonicotinoids will dilute as the plants grow but that only a very small amount will kill the larva of the Monarch. He is contacting the Master Gardeners of the area. I contacted the newsletters of garden clubs to ask that they send a notice to members. I contacted a local GOA club and the president said she would inform her members. I contacted our LGCF President and our Environmental School Chairman with the information.
We need a notice to Home Depot from a national source.
It has been brought to my attention that some “Big Stores” have been selling milkweed plants that have been treated with systemic Neonicotinoids. This will kill caterpillars! Please, be aware and be on the lookout for these tags placed in plants. Please pass this information along to your garden club members!
Though not technically “endangered,” the population of the iconic orange-and-black monarch butterfly has plummeted in recent years in large part to the loss of wild milkweed to development and changing agricultural practices.
But it’s not going to be easy.
Angie Loper of Reflections of Nature said their native nursery in Fernandina Beach tries to stock native milkweeds in the spring. The only ones that are commercially available are Asclepias tuberosa or butterfly weed, Asclepias perennis or aquatic (white) milkweed and Asclepias incarnata or swamp (pink) milkweed.
vanessa Baughman says
It could well be. I have one ordered, will try again after it arrives.
Hi Cynthia, I’m in Minnesota. Up here A. tuberosa just dies back to the ground and reemerges next spring. I clear the dead stems and foliage in the spring. Cutting milkweed back allows healthy new growth to emerge for next season. Plants that aren’t cut back can collect OE spores and spread disease to future monarchs. Here’s more info about OE:
Deborah Pittman says
Thank you. I’ve been having a bit of a runaway problem. But it seems the older they are, the easier the switch.
I started Asclepias tuberosa from seed in seed trays. End of December brings a wonderful germination and I have them under grow lights. Should I keep the plants cold to control growth till my zone 5 garden is ready? I assume that they wouldn’t do well if I planted them out before the last frost.
Hi Heather, bees are frequent visitors to both types of milkweed but syriaca is typically more attractive to monarchs as both a nectar and host plant. The one advantage to tuberosa is it blooms a bit longer. There are many milkweed varieties to choose from and having 3-4 species planted will attract/support more monarchs and other pollinators.