Milkweed and Russian Sage: Pros + Cons
The most popular of the butterfly friendly plants are Milkweed and Russian Sage. If you plant these perennials in your garden, you can create a butterfly haven. Russian Sage attracts butterflies with it’s fragrant foliage while milkweed is actually essential to the diet of the Monarch butterfly. In fact, Monarch Butterfly caterpillars only eat milkweed and it provides all the nutrition they need to make their transformation from caterpillar to butterfly!
As with everything there are pros and cons to each of these plants but as long as you are aware of them, you'll be able to successfully plant these perennials and reap the benefits of them this spring & summer!
Besides of course attracting beautiful butterflies, Russian Sage is also a very low maintenance plant and is drought tolerant. It’s bluish lavender flowers will bloom throughout the growing season, making them great for landscapes. Russian Sage also has medicinal uses and can be steeped in tea to calm an upset stomach.
There aren’t many cons for the Russian Sage plant. The only thing to really pay attention to is If you’d like to keep the Russian Sage from spreading, you’ll need to keep an eye on it and prune when necessary. It’s a member of the mint family and spreads by runners.
Fun fact: Sometimes milkweed seeds are used for the filling of life jackets! But, if you’re not in the life jacket business, there are plenty of other pros to growing milkweed in your garden. Milkweed is easy to grow and they are water wise. It of course attracts butterflies, but it also attracts bees, hummingbirds, and is deer resistant.
Be aware of Milkweed’s seed pods and remove them before they open otherwise they’ll spread seeds all over your garden and can be quite invasive. Milkweed leaves and roots are toxic to humans and pets. You’d have to consume a large amount for there to be any real danger but it’s still worth noting especially when it comes to children and pets.
Overall both Russian Sage and Milkweed are wonderful additions to your garden especially if you’re hoping for butterflies this summer. We’d love to see your butterfly pictures too! Make sure to join our Facebook Group to share.