En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - October 29, 2008

From: Denton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Why are there no monarch butterflies feeding on my milkweed
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mike Quinn

QUESTION:

I brought a milkweed from LA that has orange and yellow flowers. I live in Denton, TX. I haven't seen any eggs from the monarchs yet. Do the monarchs live on different milkweed in TX? I looked up the milkweed in TX and found that there are different milkweeds, which I didn't know. I have the one with the orange and yellow flowers and looks like a plant, but can grow into a tall shrub. Right now, they are making seeds (Oct). I've grown hundreds of monarchs and have created dozens of monarch community gardens for schools. So why don't I have monarchs laying eggs on my milkweed?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants isn't sure if you have the native milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed), or the introduced milkweed, A. curassavica (bloodflower).  Whichever it is, however, it should be a perfectly good milkweed host for monarch larvae.  The reason you aren't seeing any eggs or larvae on it now is that the monarchs that you are flying now are migrants heading to Mexico and they are generally in reproductive diapause, i.e., they are not laying eggs. Their goal is to get to Mexico where they will overwinter and then become reproductive again in February and March.  For more information about the life-cycle and migration of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) visit the U. S. Forest Service Monarch Butterfly information page and MonarchButterflyUSA.com.  For information about Texas milkweeds for monarchs visit Texas Monarch Watch.

 


Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa

 

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Plants for pollinators in Brown County, Texas
July 23, 2013 - I am attempting to plant on our family property a wide range of native plants for the central Texas area (May, TX). The flowers, bushes and trees that rely on pollinators, in particular bees, in order...
view the full question and answer

Butterflies and larval hosts in Dallas County
June 19, 2007 - My class is starting a butterfly habitat at school. We have researched plants that attract butterflies, however we forgot to look for plants that feed the caterpillars and we want to provide the expe...
view the full question and answer

Is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) a major nectar source for honeybees?
January 31, 2015 - Is the Sweetbay Magnolia a major nectar source for honeybees?
view the full question and answer

Native annuals for pollinators in King County, Washington
February 06, 2014 - I live in King County, Washington State, and I have a plot in a community garden. Rather than plant food, I'd like to attract pollinators. I need to use native annuals rather than perennials as the c...
view the full question and answer

Colony of bees nesting in sycamore
July 06, 2010 - I have a very large, old sycamore tree that has recently become home to a colony of honey bees. They have taken up dwelling in a hollow limb of the tree about 25 feet off the ground. While this is gre...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center