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Conserve Monarch Butterflies by Growing Milkweed Plants

Are you looking for milkweed plants for sale? Milkweed is an ornamental plant that is a source of food for the caterpillars of the monarch butterfly. Planting or allowing milkweed plants to grow in uncultivated areas is the best way to increase the monarch butterfly population. However, this plant is toxic to horses in particular. 

Plant description.

Milkweed is a beautiful plant to grow in your garden, or you can place it in a container or pot on the rooftop. It attracts many pollinators like bees and butterflies. It produces orange clusters of blooms that are stunning. Native Americans used this herb due to its medicinal benefits. Its uses include:

•        Treat coughs and respiratory infections.

•        Increase production of milk for nursing mothers.

The milkweed plant secretes a milky white sap from a broken leaf or stem. This sap is a latex that consists of steroid derivatives known as cardiac glycosides in high concentrations. This component disrupts:

  • Kidney function.
  • Body’s acid-base balance.
  • Muscle.
  • Nervous systems.

Animals like sheep, cattle, fowl, horses, and goats are at a high risk of milkweed poisoning if not careful. The monarch butterflies are not affected by cardiac glycoside. They cannot break them down hence accumulating in their body. This compound makes them taste bitter thus unattractive from predators. 

Symptoms of milkweed poisoning.

  • Dilated pupils.
  • Depression.
  • Labored breathing.
  • Rapid or weak pulse.
  • Salivation.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Muscle control is lost.
  • Convulsions.
  • Death.

Milkweed growing tips.

Milkweed grows well when fully exposed to sunlight. It is drought tolerant. It grows best in well-drained loamy soil but can survive in poor soil too. It has deep taproots making it hard to transplant once planted. The following tips will help you grow milkweed:

  • Use local seeds. Use native milkweed since they easily grow and adapt to the local climate.
  • Avoid scattering the seeds instead grow them in pots.
  • Water the seedlings gently since they are delicate. Remove excess water or use a spray bottle for watering.
  • Use biodegradable pots. These seedlings form their roots slowly. Using a biodegradable pot will protect the roots from damage while transplanting. 
  • Transplant the seedlings in a sunny spot. Sufficient sunlight will ensure the milkweed plant thrives.
  • Seedlings should be well spaced to avoid competition from other plants. 
  • The seedling is watered regularly to establish roots. Once the roots are well developed, you won’t be required to water the plant regularly.


The monarch butterfly depends heavily on the milkweed plant as its primary food source. This plant secretes a milky white sap known as cardiac glycosides in high concentrations. It protects the monarch butterflies from predators as it makes them taste bitter. However, the sap produced is toxic to most animals, especially horses. It is known for its medicinal value. Native Americans used the milkweed plant to treat respiratory infections and help increase milk production for nursing mothers. If you are looking for a milkweed plant for sale, you have come to the right place.