Milkweed – A Pretty Plant


I can show you fields and fields of milkweed. I was going to since the big push has been to plant it. But what I think helps sell the plant besides the environmentally right thing to do by planting it, is that it really is a pretty plant. If more people realized it can be pretty, they just might put some in gardens. Granted, these are growing in fields, but they look darn good there.


Many know that Monarchs need them, but other insects use them as well.


Here we have a Skipper taking a drink.


And here we have an amorous couple of Red Milkweed Beetles.


Dinner and a show… oops, I was spotted being a voyeur. Love-making-interuptus.


Here we have a lone Monarch, the first I have seen this year. I hope it mated since it is hanging around the milkweed.


Many will write on the Monarch this year. I did early this year out of concern for what to expect for 2014. It was a photo packed post, but also one to give an update on the plight of the Monarch.  No need to repeat the information, just wait and see if they rebound. At least we have one and I have seen the same one in this area now for a week. Hope it gets a mate.


I want to announce my new blog,

Nature and Wildlife Pics. I decided GWGT was getting too off focus with nature photography and all my bird photos, so I thought to start out fresh with a place to showcase my photos and nature stories. I do hope some of you check it out if you follow here for my birding and nature posts. The stories will be personal experiences I have while hiking and photographing. The image below is a post coming up, only the dragonflies are a bit closer. I just think it is prettier including some of their surroundings in an artful manner.

There is still a lot of overlap with GWGT and I will continue to have nature posts here because I very much believe in conservation and caring for our environment. But please take a look at my new blog, I’m sure you will like the stories and images.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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52 Responses to Milkweed – A Pretty Plant

  1. Randy Hyden says:

    I love Milkweed and trying to propagate every local species we have. Nice post!

  2. I agree milkweed is one of the prettiest plants in my garden and the scent is wonderful. The insects agree as milkweed seems to be their fav plant. I am just starting to see a bit more on the roadsides and hope to see it growing more and more. I am also seeing butterfly weed more and more on the roadside. No monarchs yet though. I swear we have to many farms and home owners using chemicals in this area that the monarchs avoid us 😦

    Can’t wait to see your new blog. I have been thinking about another blog too, but not sure yet. Popping over now!!

    • Can you imagine, I was in two separate fields of densely planted milkweed and the fragrance was wonderful. I think we are seeing more because we have been getting the rain. I mentioned that in previous posts on the Monarch and also my post on Mary Milkweed that the drought in our area took a toll on the milkweed. I was not seeing it in places it was commonly seen. I saw a couple more Monarchs yesterday so things are looking up. Last year I did not see them until the end of the season when Joe Pye weed was blooming.

  3. I bought a milkweed plant, but I’m not sure it’s growing. I can’t tell what might be the plant and what might be weeds. Great idea for the wildlife pix website!

    • Look at the leaves. They are thick and big. Butterfly weed, they are a bit less so. I know it would be less than optimal, but look at my first Monarch photo. The Milkweed is in the foreground and the ‘weeds’ are where the butterfly is perched. See the difference in the size of the leaves?

  4. Kevin says:

    Thank you for celebrating the plant. 🙂

  5. Sherrie says:

    A beautiful post of this lovely Milkweed….. Love seeing the summer plants.
    And the garden show in Lewiston is superb !

  6. igardendaily says:

    Ahh….lovely! I am one that is considering growing milkweed so I appreciate the pics. I am aware of the Monarch/milkweed situation but then I came across some info that had milkweed listed as an invasive noxious species in a neighboring western stare so I decided to hold off and learn more about it before putting it in my garden. I have yet to do that but am once again focused. Y

  7. My Heartsong says:

    hi Donna;
    I got a malware notice when I tried to log into your new blog, probably because I wasn’t logged in to WordPress.. i will try again later because I love your blogs, gardening and the birds and bees.It is good to see the monarch in the milkweed. I used to play with milkweed when I was a kid so probably hurt some, but also spread the seeds.

    • I had so much trouble with my new blog. I hope I have the kinks worked out. There is confusion because of the email address I used to start it. Hopefully it works out. First it was tied to GWGT. That made a big mess. WP thought this the easiest way but it made it so widgets would not stick. Then I went through a big mess to move the blog losing the domain name and having to wait to get it back.

  8. That’s a beautiful plant, Donna!
    I’ve just been over to your new blog. What a great idea! I am looking forward to your wonderful posts from there too! All the best! 🙂

  9. Donna:
    Milkweed is one of my favorite plants. Such beauty in several stages of its lifecycle: The fragrance of emerging flowers is intoxicating, the flowers themselves a gorgeous purple, and the resultant seed pods other-worldly. My family knows that I want milkweeds to be planted on my grave when the time comes!!!HA!

  10. I saw a monarch today on my butterflyweed. And my brother in Minneapolis told me this morning he had eight monarch caterpillars on his swamp milkweed. Perhaps there is hope. Oh, and another reason to plant the common milkweed is the wonderful sweet fragrance! Excited to see your new blog!

    • My butterfly weed just opened too. I have not been home much the past few weeks (or will be for the next 6 weeks) so I have no clue what is flying around my garden. I would not even notice plants except the BW is the only orange garden plant – so it really sticks out.

  11. I have a lot of milkweed planted, and I agree it is pretty except when it pops up in an area that has all low flowers. 🙂 Now, if I could just put a blinking light at the road so the butterflies would know to come visit.

  12. Erika T says:

    Did you know the milkweed flower smells wonderful too?! I love the smell and often cut a few flowers to bring in the house to make it smell nice.. There are always plenty left. I love the idea about putting a blinking light on it so the Monarchs can find it lol ~Erika in NH

  13. I’m so glad you’re spreading the word about milkweed. It’s so important; the monarch numbers are tragically low these last couple years.

  14. Milk Weed is growing in my little country garden! Sadly, I have yet to see a Monarch this year.
    Hoping they show up to spend time in my garden.
    Will be checking out your other blog

  15. Your macro shots of the Red Milkweed Beetles are quite amazing. I have blooming milkweed tucked away in corners of the garden this year, and surprisingly I have butterfly’s.

  16. bittster says:

    The new blog looks great! I’m amazed all over again by the photo of the flicker perching in the hole. I took a drive down through the Bloomsburg PA area yesterday and was pleased to see milkweed growing on roadsides everywhere. I hope it stays uncut for long enough to make a difference…. unfortunately every cornfield, wheatfield, and soybean patch we passed was completely weedfree…. thanks to roundup I’m sure. The thin margin of butterfly territory along the road looks promising, but like you pointed out in your winter post it just doesn’t compare to the millions of acres of weedy cornfields that have been lost now that corn and other crops have become “sprayable”.
    A good option for gardeners who are concerned about the weed part in milkweed might be the tropical version (asclepias curassavica). Frost kills it, so no weed problem, yet the monarchs seem to prefer it in my garden for egg laying. Also a. tuberosa is non spreading and carefree.
    ….oh and give the poor beetles some privacy!! 🙂

    • I think the wetter season is the reason we all are seeing more milkweed. Plus the droughts and raging storms of the last few years has lessened I think. Some are getting too much rain, but it still is better than no rain I think. Thanks for adding the other versions to plant. I read where if the plant has the same chemical makeup, the insects will use the non native versions as well. Oh, on my new blog coming up, I have more private moments of dragonflies and damselflies. Ladybugs too. It is a busy year for the insects.

  17. Rose says:

    I love the photo of the milkweed beetles–amazing photo! The milkweed has all but disappeared around here due to farmers spraying their corn and bean fields. Growing up on a farm, I understand what a nuisance it can be for agriculture, but I’ve been trying to sneak a few into my garden. I’ve been so happy, though, to see lots of them growing along the roadside near here, a roadside designated for wildlife. I think I may steal a few seeds in a few weeks:)

    • I thought we lost a lot of it too because of drought, but I believe the seed lies dormant until better times. Many native plants do that. As for the farmers, that is such a quandary. I think there are programs now in the making to have hedgerows come back. The only problem is the over-spray, so I don’t know how that will help unless they write it into the program how to keep this from happening. The Roundup is such a problem making the seed not viable. I cannot imagine farmers giving that up.

  18. We have lots of milkweed growing across the road from us. I’m hoping the monarchs rebound because I know last year I really didn’t see that many around here. Will have to check out your new blog.

  19. I have 3 types of Milkweed in my garden and next spring they will be large enough to divide so I can plant a larger area with it. I Love the way it looks and I love the scent. Thanks for posting about Milkweed and Monarchs!

  20. Debra says:

    Donna, I don’t know how but you managed to capture personality in even Red Milkweed Beetles. Wow. =)

  21. Mickey Robertson says:

    Hi Donna! I just have got to tell you how very much I enjoy your work! I am semi-shut-in due to ongoing serious health problems. Also can’t get out much at all in the Texas summer heat, which seems to last for so much of the year. Your work gives me so much joy! I feel that you bring the beauty of the outside world to me and I really appreciate and enjoy it so very much! I am definitely going to sign up for your new blog! (I’m hoping you are also continuing this one?? I am a bit confused.) You are so talented and I also sense that you are a happy person who is enjoying life and the beauty of nature & that all shines through into your work! Thank you and please never stop!! I count on you to brighten up both my day and my life!

    • Absolutely continuing GWGT. It is very successful and I would be crazy not to keep it going. I am in the midst of garden walk season here and can have enough material to post for a whole year and doing the wildlife trips I go on gets to set back posting on all the beautiful garden I can visit. I also have been taking trips with employees of the DEC as guides. What I have been learning is things I am sure others would not know. I went on a trip for Emerald Ash borer for instance, and I am positive the average homeowner would not know the information or signs to look for in their ash trees. I was taught how to identify it and even how to prove if a tree is infected. I am a master gardener and the program very much helps us out in the field answering questions. You can’t just read this stuff in a book or pamphlet like so many regurgitate what they read. It will be on GWGT soon. I added a tip on how to find out what was in the holes of trees on the other blog. I learned that on one of these trips.

      I am so sad you are semi-shut in and my prayers will be with you. I wish you well and hope your illness can subside. Thank you very much for your kind word, Mickey. I so appreciate that and it made my day too.

      Also your heat in Texas, I would likely not be out in it either. Today it was very hot here at 86° at 9am – where buckets of sweat were pouring off me, and I rarely sweat. It was hard to breathe the humidity was so thick. So I can only imagine what Texas is like right now. I have been to TX but not in a long time. It was way before your droughts. Thank you for being a follower and thank your for the personal comment.

  22. debsgarden says:

    Incredibly, I have had a hard time with milkweed, but I plan to try again. That bug was clearly saying, “Do you mind?!!”

    And best wishes on your new blog! I have really enjoyed GWGT. Your nature photography and commentary is outstanding, so I can see how a new blog would evolve from it. But I can’t imagine publishing two blogs…wow, that is a lot of work!

    • I think the beetle had more profanity in mind. Nature and Wildlife Pics is more about the pics and very short stories that go with them, so it really is fast to publish. Being new, I have to publish often and to promote it, I have to post here on GWGT every two days rather than three times a week. I am hoping it takes off quickly like GWGT, I am putting some fun stuff there along with my prettiest images.

  23. A.M.B. says:

    Beautiful pictures! Milkweed is definitely a very pretty plant. Thank you for pointing that out!

  24. Jet Eliot says:

    Your photos are beautiful, Donna, and I’m glad to see so much milkweed. Congrats on your new blog, I will check it out.

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