milkweed

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 174 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • in reply to: Asclepias incarnata, swamp milkweed seeds #61074

    milkweed
    Participant

    Jacqui, you are so right about A.incarnata or Swamp milkweed being well suited to NZ’s climate. I honestly think its much more useful for cooler parts of NZ compared to A.curassaviva (tropical milkweed) as it pops up again year after year without the need for resowing each season. Another bonus is it gets progressively bigger each season that it pops up from the soil line AND the rootstock can be divided to form new plants! They can be easily transplanted when they are dormant in the winter too.
    If only this milkweed variety was more widely available around NZ garden centres and as seed from the bigger seed companies!

    in reply to: Tropical Milkweed (Red) Germination Time? #56613

    milkweed
    Participant

    It’s the wrong time of year to be growing Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) in NZ. I firmly believe that Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is more suited to a lot of parts of NZ because the climate just isn’t hot enough for long enough for Tropical milkweed to thrive in generally. It’s a pity the seeds of Swamp milkweed are not more readily available because it also has quite stunning flowers in both white and pink varieties. I’m sure others will disagree but this is my overall experience using many different milkweed species in the Manawatu.

    in reply to: Swan plants, Christchurch #54916

    milkweed
    Participant

    From memory, Monarchs love purple flowers especially (think Liatris spicata, Echinacea purpurea) but they will browse most anything with a corona full of nectar.

    in reply to: Good success rate so far #53911

    milkweed
    Participant

    Sounds great!

    in reply to: A. syriaca – Common Milkweed #53583

    milkweed
    Participant

    Seeds tend to get through customs as long as they’re commercially packaged. I’ve only lost one packet to customs over the years and made many purchases. I’ve got my own small stash of A.syriaca seeds from richters for future planting.

    in reply to: A. syriaca – Common Milkweed #53572

    milkweed
    Participant

    Two other sites i’ve used in the pastto buy milkweed seeds with good results: http://www.georgiavines.com/
    https://www.everwilde.com/

    in reply to: A. syriaca – Common Milkweed #53571

    milkweed
    Participant

    Richters is the way to go! Stratification (chilling the seeds in a moist environment for 6 weeks min) is very important for A. syriaca. Good luck.

    in reply to: A. syriaca – Common Milkweed #53570

    milkweed
    Participant

    I’m still growing it! I got seed pods off it a couple of summers ago but most of the seeds wouldn’t germinate.
    This plant is the King of swan plants because it comes back year after year and tolerates poor soil (but not wet soil in the winter when the roots are resting or it will rot). The flowers smell incredibly delicious. Showy milkweed A. speciosa is probably the best to be truthful because the flowers also look incredibly amazing with their star shapes.

    in reply to: Monarchs in Fiji #44508

    milkweed
    Participant

    Neither the story nor the website gives us any important details such as what is the name of the host plant for the monarch in Fiji? I’m assuming it’s Asclepias curassavica (Tropical milkweed) because Fiji is in the tropics, but I’m happy to be better informed!

    in reply to: Lesser Wanderer sighted #41900

    milkweed
    Participant

    thanks Norm!

    in reply to: Lesser Wanderer sighted #41888

    milkweed
    Participant

    Norm will you post the photo?

    in reply to: A female Lesser Wanderer butterfly was caught #41682

    milkweed
    Participant

    Norm and anybody else, have any lesser wanderers blown over to NZ from Aussie yet this summer season January 2015?

    in reply to: How long will clippings be eaten? #41575

    milkweed
    Participant

    They sometimes move off the swan plant to change skins as they grow (called instars cos they do it several times) then move back on the swan plant and resume eating.

    in reply to: Is 'effectively helping cheaply' a contradiction in terms? #41442

    milkweed
    Participant

    The Wasps stop eating the caterpillars in February but in the meantime you could put a branch of milkweed in a jug of water and put it inside the house on a sunny window sill and change the branch every few days when the caterpillar eats all the leaves. The branch may also begin to root so you can then create another plant by putting it in a small container of moist potting mix or soil to grow-on.

    in reply to: "Seed Pods" #41346

    milkweed
    Participant

    If the caterpillars don’t eat the flowers or the pods, they’ll grow, mature, ripen and start to burst open in April or thereabouts. Keep the caterpillars off if you want to get ripe pods!

    in reply to: Pests #41270

    milkweed
    Participant

    Norm, does that behaviour lessen the population of aphids? I think that’s what I’ve observed but other peoples observations help to broaden the picture. There seems to be less bees around so far too. I know the varoa mite is rampant in honey bee colonies here but I’m sure I saw more bees around this time last summer.

    in reply to: Website #41260

    milkweed
    Participant

    Merry dot Christmas to you too!

    in reply to: Pests #41258

    milkweed
    Participant

    One good thing about the ants I’ve noticed however is that they’re eating (presumably) the green aphids that seem to be dominating on my milkweed this year whereas in previous seasons the yellow aphids have done the damage.
    And sad to say it appears that the asian paper wasp has arrived in Marton finally.

    in reply to: No monarchs seen yet #41178

    milkweed
    Participant

    I’ve got caterpillars galore all over my milkweed here in Marton so I’d expect a visit or 10 to Waipukarau by the monarchs fairly shortly I predict!
    Like Jacqui said, plant milkweed and they will indeed come!


    milkweed
    Participant

    Correction, moth plant is not native to NZ, but arrived in the 1880’s from South America as an ornamental species. It’s a cousin of the milkweed as it’s in the Asclepiadoideae family. In North America it’s often called ‘cruel vine,’ for obvious reasons.
    I’m also trying hard to keep my other milkweed vine Cynanchum laeve alive but it doesn’t like NZ conditions much where I live. It seems to grow well in the green house but otherwise grows slowly then dies off.


    milkweed
    Participant

    A native vine here called ‘moth plant’ (Araujia sericifera) is readily eaten by the monarch catepillars although the butterfly won’t usually lay her eggs on it.
    The flowers are despised by people here as they trap the butterfly and it dies.
    Several other species of milkweed are growing here such as A.incarnata, A.syriaca, A.purpurascens and A.curassavica (and a few others) although I’ve only ever seen A.incarnata and A.curassavica in garden centres here though.


    milkweed
    Participant

    I think the point Jacqui is trying to make is that there isn’t a single place that monarchs migrate or over winter to in New Zealand.
    Nelson’s a prominent and historical place for the butterflies to go as its very warm in summer and very sunny all year round.
    In New Zealand Monarchs prefer a warm sunny sight with protection from certain types of ever green trees (firs) from the wind and frost during winter and these conditions exist in many places here.
    As I recall over wintering sights have occurred over the years here in Hutt Valley, Christchurch, Hawkes Bay, Tauranga and Northland and various others that I can’t recall. I don’t know if these sites host over wintering monarchs every year but they must be hiding somewhere because they arrive every Spring and spread progressively around the country laying eggs and eating the most common species of milkweed here, G. physocarpa/fruticosa that garden centres supply.
    Others please chip in here and tell us more or correct me!

    in reply to: Growing Asclepias incarnata #40910

    milkweed
    Participant

    In my experience A. incarnata grows and thrives to become a very large plant when growing in moist potting mix in a 40 litre plastic container, in full sun 6+ hours a day. In a pot, do not companion grow anything else with it.
    They need to be grown for the first few seasons in a pot before planting out into the garden otherwise its a long slow exercise (in my experience).
    A 5 year old plant planted out (always when dormant) into a garden will do ok as long as its root structure is significant and you meet its optimum growing conditions (moisture and sunlight. in the growing season).
    Two of my oldest and largest plants, planted in the garden died but i suspect the life cycle, with an average mature age of 7 years, may have been approaching anyway.

    in reply to: Sprayed plants – Mavrik #40855

    milkweed
    Participant

    Rinse (water) the leaves under cold water each day for a few days (7 days) to be extra sure first.

    in reply to: Monarchs in The Catlins #40840

    milkweed
    Participant

    I just sent some monarch eggs to a nice lady in Gore so hopefully they’ll hatch and complement whatever is already down that way.

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 174 total)