Plant of the Week
Also known as Tropical milkweed, this is annual that's sometimes perennial for us when we have a very warm winter. It does re-seed and may show up in other parts of the garden next year.
It's a heat lover, so can fill in spots where in winter and spring you plant cool-weather annuals.
There's both an orange and yellow form. Both are equally attractive to nectaring butterflies and are a larval food for the Monarchs.
Mexican milkweed does attract a yellow aphid, but no need to worry. In fact, consider it a nursery for rearing beneficial insects! You'll soon see it attracting ladybugs (who will lay their eggs on it, too), green lacewings, syrphid flies (hover flies), and parasitic wasps. When you see the aphids turn from yellow to brown, you'll know that the parasitic wasps have laid an egg in them.
The advantage to attracting these beneficials is that once they're in your garden, they'll stick out and take care of the aphids on your tomato plants and other pests!