Growing common milkweed from seed – easy steps for beginners

Text and photos by L Heroux │FWG Volunteer

The monarch migration is truly one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss. . . The need for host plants for larvae and energy sources for adults applies to all monarch and butterfly populations around the world. — MonarchWatch (www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/)

Common milkweed | Asclepias syriaca by C. Hanrahan

If you’ve never grown anything from seed, growing milkweed is a great way to start. You will develop skills applicable to starting other types of plants, and you could become part of a cross-continental chain of waystations dedicated to sustaining the entire lifecycle of monarch butterflies. The FWG is a registered Monarch Waystation. Your garden could be too! Continue reading

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Some plants are…just evil. Learn how not to plant them.

dog-strangling vine, aka swallow wort

Some plants are the poster children of invasive species awareness campaigns. We’ve all heard about Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), and FWG works hard to raise awareness about Dog-strangling Vine (Cynanchum rossicum /Vincetoxicum rossicum) and Buckthorn (both glossy Rhamnus frangula and common Rhamnus cathartica). However, some attractive lesser-known plants with invasive tendencies are still sold as ornamentals in nurseries or gifte­d between friends. They are no less invasive, but information campaigns in the garden industry aren’t always effective so these lovely plantes fatales are still grown and sold to consumers who plant them at home, perpetuating sources of invasive spread. There isn’t any malice involved, just a lack of information or even warnings on labels.

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