Cape Ann Milkweed Project

Monarch Butterfly Monarch Butterfly Emerging from Chryslais ©Kim Smith 2011

Monarch Butterfly Emerging from Chrysalis

Order Your Milkweed Plants Today!

In March I shared an article about bringing back the Monarch Butterflies. Great interest in planting milkweed was expressed by many. The way to bring as many Monarchs as possible to our region is to help recreate the butterfly’s habitat in our own gardens. The number one way to do this is by planting native wildflowers, milkweed for the summer caterpillars, and asters and goldenrod for the fall migrants. Number two is to make a commitment not to use pesticides, which will indiscriminately kill all the creatures that your milkweed plants invite to your garden.

Monarch Butterfly Eggs Common Milkweed ©Kim Smith

Monarch Eggs on Common Milkweed ~ see the tiny yellow pinhead-sized dots on the top of the upper leaves of the milkweed plants (click to view larger)

Milkweed is the only food plant of the Monarch caterpillar and the flower is a fantastic source of nectar for myriad species of bees and butterflies.

So many GMG readers wrote in requesting milkweed plants that Joey has very generously offered his place of business—Captain Joe and Sons—as our go-to-place for picking up plants!! It’s going to be a super fun morning–stop by with your coffee, visit, learn about milkweed and Monarchs, and pick up your order.

Please place your order today or tomorrow. I am not pre-collecting the money and am fronting the funds to purchase plants. I don’t want to have dozens of homeless plants, so I am asking everyone to please be on the honor system.

We are ordering two types of milkweed. The cost is 7.00 per plant, which will come in a 3.5 inch square pot. The plants are on the smallish side however, that is the ideal size for shipping and transplanting milkweed. I am writing instructions for planting and they will be provided at the time of purchase.

Monarch Caterpillars Common Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2011

Monarch Caterpillars J-Shape on Common Milkweed Getting Ready to Turn into a Chrysalis

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the milkweed we see most typically growing in our dunes, meadows, roadsides, and fields. It grows quickly and spreads vigorously by underground runners. This is a great plant if you have an area of your garden that you want to devote entirely to milkweed. It prefers full sun, will tolerate some shade, and will grow in nearly any type of soil. The flowers are dusty mauve pink and have a wonderful honey-hay sweet scent.

Marsh Milkweed (Aclepias incarnata) is more commonly found in marshy areas, but it grows beautifully in gardens. It does not care for dry conditions. These plants are very well-behaved and are more clump forming, rather than spreading by underground roots. The flowers are typically a brighter pink than Common Milkweed.

Monarch Butterfly Emerging from Chryslais ©Kim Smith 2011.JPG

Monarchs deposit their eggs readily on both types of milkweed and in my garden I grow Common Milweed and Marsh Milkweed side-by-side.

The cost of the plants includes shipping from Missouri. Hopefully everyone will be good and if they place an order, will honor their commitment. If there is any money beyond what was spent on plants and shipping we will donate it to the ongoing fundraising drive for the Rocky Neck Cultural Center purchase of the beautiful center on Wonson Street.

Plant pick-up is at Captain Joe and Sons, 95 East Main Street, Gloucester, on Saturday, May 18th from 9:00am to 12noon. If you cannot pick up your plants at that time, please ask a friend.

My order to the nursery is being placed on Tuesday night, so please get your orders in asap. Place Your Milkweed Order in the comment section of this post. Be sure to indicate which type of milkweed, Common or Marsh, and number of plants.

Our deepest thanks to everyone who is participating. 

Monarch Butterfiles Female left Male right Milkweed ©Kim Smith 2012

Female and Male Monarch Butterfly on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Rain date pick up: Sunday, May 19th from 9am to 12noon.

About Kim Smith

Currently creating documentary films about the Monarch Butterfly, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, and Gloucester's Feast of St. Joseph. Landscape designer for the Gloucester Harbor Walk Gardens. Designer, lecturer, author, illustrator, photographer. Visit my blog for more information about my landscape and interior design firm- Good Morning Gloucester daily contributor. Author/illustrator "Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden"
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73 Responses to Cape Ann Milkweed Project

  1. Hi Kim. How many plants do you recommend? I’ll take the common milkweeds since they spread and grow fast. let me know.

  2. Kim Smith says:

    How large an area? You can plant milkweed plants fairly far apart because they grow so vigorously. If the area is around 5 feet by 5 feet, I would say 5-8 plants will get you started. In the fall you can allow the patch to go to seed, which is another method in which milkweed spreads.

  3. I’ll take two of the marsh milkweed please! BUT – I’ll very likely be working that day. Would I be able to pick them up slightly earlier, maybe 830?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Two of the marsh milkweed for me as well, thanks!
    - Sarah Swart

  5. Loie Levine says:

    2 marsh milkweed for me please. Thanks!

  6. Cathy Palmisano says:

    I would like 1 common milkweed plant please.
    Thanks for organizing this!

  7. Rita Stapulonis says:

    I would like one marsh milkweed. Thank you.

  8. caroline haines says:

    I’ll take two common and one marsh.

  9. We’d love to grab two, please. Thank you!

  10. Love the photo of the Monarch emerging, Kim. Beautiful.

  11. M.J. Boylan says:

    Kim, I’d like 3 marsh milkweed. Thanks so much!!

  12. Laura says:

    Kim, can I order 2 marsh milkweed please?
    Thank you,
    Laura Cramer

  13. Hi Kim,

    We’d like 2 common and 4 marsh plants. Perfect for our land on the edge of the marsh in Essex!
    Brad & Beth

  14. PV says:

    One marsh and one common please. Thanks for doing this.
    Pat V

  15. Hi Kim – I’d like two common milkweed and two marsh milkweeds please.

  16. beauportvodka says:

    3 “Marsh” for Bob Ryan. btw: Kathy very much enjoyed your presentation to the Manchester Garden Club.

  17. Hi Kim:
    Did I order? Can not remember if I did. My brain is leaking today

    • Kim Smith says:

      No Donna, I do not have your order. If anyone ordered in the post last month, i am requesting that they restate their order here in the comment section to make it official, as i did not know the the price or the varieties available at the time of writing the initial post. Hope that is clear!

  18. David B. Cox says:

    Kim I would like one common and two marsh Thanks, David

  19. Bob Roland says:

    One common and one marsh please

  20. Kellie Rich says:

    Hi Kim, I will take 3 marsh milkweeds Thanks Kellie Rich

  21. Vickie & Peter says:

    I have morning sun will the Marsh work? If so I will take one.

  22. irma cohen says:

    I would like 1 of each milkweed. Many thanks Irma Cohen

  23. Pingback: Cape Ann Milkweed Project ~ Place your orders today | GoodMorningGloucester

  24. Lisa Smith says:

    Hi Kim,
    I would like 2 common milkweed plants,

  25. Kim, two of each. RD wants 2 marsh milkweed and I want 2 of the common milkweed.
    thanks, Paul M

  26. Oops, I forgot to specify on my comment above. We’ll take two common plants, please.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kim, 3 marsh and 3 common please! I’m so glad you’re doing this. i tried to “seed” our field and they didnt take. See you May 18th .Lauren

  28. Anonymous says:

    It’s Sarah Swart again, a friend would also like 2 marsh milkweed plants, so please put me down for FOUR (two already on order, now another two). Thanks!

  29. Pingback: Cape Ann Milkweed Project ~ Place your orders today | Kim Smith Designs

  30. Gwen Ryan says:

    Hi Kim
    Earlier this morning I ordered 4 but did not specify the type.
    We live on the beach, not marsh. Which one is better for sandy soil? Last year one plant appeared on it’s own but it didn’t survive the winter.
    I’d like to change to 6 plants please! Whatever you recommend.

  31. Sandy Shaw says:

    Hi Kim,
    I am hoping that you got my order for two of marsh and two of common type milkweed. Please check if you already have it. Thanks for making these available.
    Sandy Shaw

  32. Isabel Sloane says:

    Hi Kim – Would the marsh milkweed tolerate 1/2 day sun ? Thank you so much for doing this – I have been wanting to have milkweed plants in my butterfly garden for years!

  33. Ann Mannle says:

    Five Marsh Milkweeds please!

  34. mari says:

    I would like one marsh milk weed

  35. Holly Yasaitis says:

    HI Kim,
    I’d like to order 3 common milkweed plants. Thank you

  36. bakeddirt says:

    Hi Kim -
    Thanks so much for doing this. Could I please have one of each?

  37. Pingback: Cape Ann Milkweed Project ~ Last day to order plants | Kim Smith Designs

  38. Pingback: Cape Ann Milkweed Project ~ Last day to order plants | GoodMorningGloucester

  39. Isabel Sloane says:

    Thanks, Kim! I’d like 3 marsh & 3 common, please.

  40. Kathleen Henneberry says:

    I would like 3 marsh. thanks, Kathleen Henneberry… planting in Peabody

  41. debe holland says:

    I would like 3 of each please …thanks, Debe and MaryJo Holland

  42. Maureen Nicastro says:

    Please, I’ll take two of the marsh milkweeds. Just saw the IMAX about the Monarchs at the Smithsonian in Washington DC

  43. Kim Smith says:

    The order is placed. My deepest thanks to everyone.

  44. Florence Feldman-Wood says:

    I would like to order 4 common milkweed and 4 marsh milkweed. I have a lot of space.
    However I may not be able to be there on the 18th and may have to send a friend.

  45. Isabel Sloane says:

    Hello again, Kim – Just want to make sure you got my order (of yesterday)
    for 3 of each. Thanks again, Isabel

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  47. Pingback: Monarch-Milkweed Mug Up This Saturday! | Kim Smith Designs

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  49. Woodmont,CT says:

    I’m going to do this in Woodmont, CT and with the Urban Roots Bridgeport Community Gardens. (please like us on FB) We are all coastal communities that’s fun. Thanks for this inspirational simple idea. I have a yard full of them. I’ll have enough for the community gardens. I’ll need to order some for Woodmont. Thanks again!

  50. Pingback: Where Are All the Monarchs? | GoodMorningGloucester

  51. Pingback: Where Are All the Monarchs? | Kim Smith Designs

  52. Pingback: World’s Easiest Method on How to Grow Milkweed From Seed | GoodMorningGloucester

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