There are many Kentucky native milkweeds that are an amazing addition to your perennial garden for their wonderful floral displays.  In addition to their great aesthetics they provide the only food that will sustain the Monarch butterfly caterpillars!  Without ample amounts of milkweed the Monarch population will not be able to flourish.  In addition to the perennial species, a few of the tropical milkweeds added to the garden each year will provide even more foliage for those hungry, hungry caterpillars to feed on.  Kentucky is far enough north to experience hard enough frosts to kill the tropical milkweed each fall.  With the plants being killed by the first hard frost the Monarchs are forced to migrate south.  The biggest concern for the tropical milkweed is in areas of the far southern United States where the plant is able to stay evergreen and thus keeping Monarchs in the area year round.  When they do not migrate, disease can start to spread within the population. Fortunately for us here in Kentucky, we can provide both the perennial and tropical milkweeds and not have to worry about interrupting their migration!

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