Native Aquatic Milkweed Is a Pretty and Petite Monarch Host Plant for Damp Areas
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
I rarely see migrating monarchs either in the spring or fall in my rewilded Atlanta yard, despite growing multiple milkweed varieties. I’m not sure if it is because monarchs need to pass through all the tidy and toxic yards in my neighborhood to even find mine. Every year my yard has more plants for monarchs, so I haven't given up hope of seeing more than a passing one or two each year.
I think the aquatic milkweed is still a valuable plant to have in my yard because I see multiple insects on the flowers including bees, wasps, ants, flies, and butterflies. Various milkweed beetles and aphids eat the plant.
Aquatic milkweed is a pretty, petite 1- to 2-foot-tall plant with white flowers with pink spots on the unopened flowers. It blooms from early summer through September. I still have a few flowers left on mine.
It thrives in sunny moist, damp areas such as floodplains, marshes, swamps, ditches and wetlands. The native range is in Georgia, but it is most common in the coastal plain of Georgia. It is easy to grow if it gets consistent moisture and some sun. I have a patch thriving in a damp slightly shady area of my yard, and in a partially sunny area where the A/C condensation drains. I’ve also been able to easily winter sow the seeds to add even more milkweed plants to my yard.