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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

knitterbug3 -- If you want to support pollinators it's best to go with native plants; native bees and others time emergence with when native plants are in bloom, and lots of bee / plant interactions are highly specialized (as in one bees species only forages on one or two plant species). Also remember, if you want more butterflies they need host plants, which are native plants, in order to reproduce. I'd consult local garden designers, university extensions, etc to see what native plants would work for your site. You can also look at plant lists from Pollinator Partnership and The Xerces Society. As for mammals eating your plants, it will happen -- I have rabbits eating milkweed. What they eat and how much they eat changes from year to year based on many environmental factors -- nothing is deer or rabbit proof but a solid fence.

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Mark Wright

I Planted an Asclepias Incarnata in my yard this year. I was pleasantly surprised to find 14 Monarch caterpillars feeding on one plant! I also have common milkweed nearby which had none.
The second photo is a Swamp Milkweed I found in the wild near a trail.

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