Until they are about eight inches tall, milkweed shoots make a delicious boiled vegetable. Planting flowers in your vegetable garden does more than creating beauty and providing cut flowers. Even though it’s getting cold outside, and the 2014 growing season is coming to an end, we are already planning for 2015. Common milkweed has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries but has fallen from favor in recent years. Hi Pam, we actually have some purple coneflowers with common milkweed this year, but I’ll have to give “them” the credit for growing together. I’m happy if our tropical is 4 feet up north. Hi, just to say I grow the low-growing zinnia — we call them “Mexican Zinnias”– but don’t know if that is a good name or just our local description. Grow milkweed plants in your garden for colorful, fragrant and nectar-rich flowers that attract pollinators of all sorts. Interplanting different crops can help marking the rows, especially when combining fast germinators such as radishes, with slower ones such as lettuce. Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) flower buds as a cooked green is a delicacy. Just as there are plants that make good neighbors, there are also no-noes. If so, I am thrilled to learn that the Buddleia Buzz family still provide nectar for butterflies (and bees) and the wide range of hues in the flowers. great tip Stacey, and a good reason to utilize morning watering for all garden plants. I have had success with good ol’ zinnias…!! I will take my chances with a $3 packet of seeds. Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants together. Since milkweed is sometimes considered an unwanted specimen in the landscape, and can be invasive, we might consider growing milkweed in a pot. No telling yet how this will turn out. Forgive me, and I’m not trying to rush your judgement, but I haven’t been on the computer that long, and I’m not sure where to go when you say that you will be posting more information on the monarch ageratum soon. I am guilty of still using the old one, and will do better going forward. You can easily crowded young seedlings to extend your milkweed bed. As companion plants, they are pretty good all-rounders and, as an added bonus, they repel mosquitos. Hi Brian, I would update this article, but also post it on my butterfly garden plants page. Their texture and flavor suggest a cross between green beans and asparagus, but it is distinct from either. And they don’t grow taller than my butterfly weed. An interesting article. It’s suggested that milkweed be planted in patches of at least 6, so that caterpillars won’t run out of their incredible shrinking food source. (NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Milkweed, but just finding the plant and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site for Milkweed Flower Buds.). These resemble asparagus spears, but have tiny leaves, in opposing pairs, pressed up flat against the stem. For examle, bean growth is hindered by gladiolus (Gladiolus), which grows in … So when selecting companion plants, it's necessary to consider whether their needs are compatible with those of the sages you plan to grow. However, if you are worried and have some seeds you could always try putting them in the refrigerator: Balloon milkweed was reclassified as a Gomphocarpus species about 20 years ago. With over 140 known species of Asclepias, only 30 nurture the monarchs. The milkweed plant structure is a very pale green to our eyes. Find Buddleja Buzz ‘Ivory’ on our Butterfly Flowers Page. We also grow Texas mistflower (Conoclinium greggii), and overwinter a single plant indoors in case it doesn’t survive our harsh winters. I have other swamp weeds in the blue garden with mallow and vinca, purple, coral and red porterweeds. Of these, nasturtiums and marigolds are my absolute favourite companion plants. Hi Carolyn, I think you are talking about the “persian carpet mix” which sounds like a great idea. Not all of them, but like phlox, you have to pull a lot out because if they get to close they just get that damn white powdery growth and look awful. Sadly, it has not become widely available, although I suspect it has hybridized with the wild ageratum (Concoclinium coelestinum) in our garden. Buy Black and Blue Salvia to Attract Hummingbirds. Milkweed is the only game in town for hungry monarch butterfly caterpillars. If you are growing ballon plant (Gomphocarpus physocarpus) annually, you’ll definitely want the sunflowers as your back border. !….They grow perfusely and are easy keepers. Companion Planting Enemies. There are only a few “hard facts” that are unanimously and universally agreed upon, such as the incompatibility of members of the allium family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, scallions, chives) with legumes (beans and peas) because the members of the onion family release a substance to the soil that kills the beneficial bacteria on bean roots. I planted a large state fair zinnia too close to my balloon plant and it was definitely blocking sun from the milkweed. As a Pennsylvania Master Gardener, I’m using more native plants in my pollinator gardens and encouraging other other folks to do the same. Hi Betsy, I agree with your zinnia suggestion…and your warning! Plants can attract beneficial insects and pollinators, deter pests, and thus act as insect repellants. Common Milkweed is an example of one of these Very Good Weeds. They bloom all through the late spring, summer, and fall until our first freeze and are the best! When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Is that what they are called? They can fend off predators and undesirable wildlife. Purchase Spider and Whorled Milkweed Here. Some of my milkweed grew to over 7 feet tall! Cabbage worms, cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, carrot flies, cabbage moths—all kinds of pests can plague vegetable … I wanted to test it out to make sure it attracted monarchs before promoting it on the website. It is mainly used in the context of vegetable gardens but ornamentals such as roses equally benefit from having neighbors they like. It was starting to occur to me that maybe the numbers of Monarchs were down due to loss of habitat, pesticides, etc. Asclepias verticillata (whorled milkweed) has tiny pin-shaped leaves that aren’t likely to satisfy large monarch caterpillars. 1- Milkweed gets its name from the copious bitter, white, sticky liquid that flows readily from a wounded Plant. Companion plants: Plants to avoid: Beans: Broccoli Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower Corn Cucumbers Eggplant Garden peas Potatoes Radishes Squash Strawberries Tomatoes: Beets Members of the onion family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots, scallions, chives) Peppers: Carrots: Beans Garden peas Lettuce Onions Tomatoes: Dill Parsnips Parsley Planting certain vegetables next to each other can deter insects and inhibit growth. I have tall verbena that has gotten the powdery mildew. Both of these companions grow well in containers. Plant Milkweed The good news is that planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that each of us can make a difference for monarchs. Fragrant clusters of flowers are a magnet for butterflies and pollinators. Potatoes with leafy vegetables, followed by green beans and Chinese cabbage or spinach. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Let them eat in peace- your plants will be fine. So far I have 10 . However, be mindful not to sew the seeds too close to your milkweed as zinnia leaves are quite large and may block out some sunlight. Before you even start thinking about companion planting in your garden, make sure that you follow the rules of crop rotation. Hi Jacqui, this info was updated on the website a long time ago, but I missed the update on this page…thanks! I have about a half-dozen struggling to survive, a few as white as zombies, but if I get even one or two from seed it was worth the trouble. after the record rainfall we’ve had in Minnesota this spring/summer the only affect it’s had on the verbena is that some of its over 6 feet tall. Buddleja buzz also comes in magenta, velvet, sky blue, and purple. Have you gotten any word of pour germination. There aren’t too many flowers that exhibit this pretty blue hue, and no other milkweed does. The good news is that they grow like weeds and self propagate so once you have them you have them pretty much forever. Asclepias asperula, verticillata and viridis are short, native milkweed varieties that would make fine companion plants…really, most any milkweed species would pair well with this because this is a ‘background plant’ that is easy to remove, and a top monarch attractor…we also threw some contrasting red clover into the mix this season. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on just one type of plant, and that’s milkweed (genus Asclepias). What are some of, Valentine Gift Ideas for a Butterfly Lover, Start or Improve your Monarch Butterfly Garden, Butterfly Garden Book for Monarchs- Instant Download, Top Tools, Supplies, and Resources for Raising Monarch Butterflies, 1. The same applies to pests. Companion plants will either help a specific crop grow or will grow better beside a specific crop, and can do many support jobs in the garden: Repel insect pests . Ours comes back each season in our cold climate, but I haven’t had to pull one seedling in 5 years growing it. If you don’t mind pulling out bad plants they are OK, but they give you so little in the way of color I am not sure it is worth the trouble. This inhibits their growth and prevents the beans from fixing nitrogen to the soil. Unlike other areas of gardening, companion planting is not always based on hard scientific facts but rather on observations, the type of garden lore found in farmer’s almanacs. Some crops inhibit the growth of other plants. I will post more info on it soon…. The genus Asclepias is thought to have been named for the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios.1 Asclepias tuberosahas several common names including butterfly milkweed, butterfly weed and orange milkweed. Most young milkweed plants will need about a foot of space between them to allow for healthy growth. Milkweed … Thanks for sharing! 12. Find suitable milkweed plants for this here. Their reasoning is that this is an African plant in origin and the Asclepias are from the Americas. I am presently still fighting to grow some giant and swamp milkweed in Florida. To be or not to be (together)….that is the question. Companion Plant and Garden Design. Mistflower with Shorter Milkweed Varieties, 6. Fennel is probably the best-known of the poor companion plants that needs to be given its own spot in the garden far away from all other crops. Several milkweed plants had sprouted up from seed pods, so many that it looked like a small forest of milkweed! The stalks are thin, and the flower heads small,  which makes this an excellent see-through plant. If you like hummingbirds, black and blue salvia would make a great butterfly weed companion too…lots of grape options! The growing requirements for any plant depend on the temperature range, soil, elevation, sunshine, moisture level and other features of the plant's native land. Cabbage worms, cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, carrot flies, cabbage moths—all kinds of pests can plague vegetable … It may be found in fields and fence rows or any fallow area that is open to full sunshine. Cardoon leaf midribs are an excellent vegetable, best picked before the plant blooms (peel, and blanch before sautéing). Parsley and mint are also good companion herbs for tomatoes and deter a number of pests. Asclepias asperula, verticillata and viridis are short, native milkweed varieties that would make fine companion plants…really, most any milkweed species would pair well with this because this is a ‘background plant’ that is easy to remove, and a top monarch attractor…we also threw some contrasting red clover into the mix this season. Got to find the Monarch ageratum. Companion Planting Basil for Healthy, Pest-Free Tomatoes and More Yes, companion gardening can benefit your vegetable plants by using proven research developed by The Department of Agriculture or agricultural departments at many Universities. This photo below is possibly Salvia nemorosa ‘cardonna’.