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Butterflies love my Quick Fire Hydrangeas

10 years ago

I don't usually post here, but stop by to read on occasion. Hello! :-)

I raised Monarchs with my kids one year, but the patch of milkweed where we found the eggs was cut down years ago. I don't have enough sun (and too much wet soil) for Asclepias syriaca, but was excited to find Asclepias incarnata at a local nursery this summer.

I planted three good-sized plants a few weeks ago, hoping they'll get enough sun to bloom next year. I was excited to look out the other day and realize that an Asclepias incarnata had volunteered in a wild area at the back of my yard. Now I know that I should have the right conditions for it to make it through the winter and bloom next year.

But the plants in my garden that I see the most butterflies on by far are my Quick Fire hydrangeas. (The bees love them too!) Today I saw a few Red Spotted Purples, two Monarchs, and a Red Admiral, all on the Quick Fires. I also saw a couple Giant Swallowtails, but they seemed most interested in zinnias.

I've seen a monarch on the Asclepia once, but that's it. I keep checking it for eggs, but is it too late for that?

Also, yesterday when there was a smaller monarch flitting around and stopping on the Quick Fires, there was a larger one flying very fast in circles around the gardens, and even over the deck. It only landed once, on a just-budding Limelight Hydrangea, but it appeared to be just resting. I wasn't close enough to see if it was a male or female. I know nothing about Monarch behavior, so it made me curious about what it was doing. Any thoughts?

I think it's awesome what some of you are doing to try to encourage milkweed planting and monarch/butterfly awareness.

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