Native milkweeds, the mainstay of monarch everywhere, is in serious decline with new development bulldozing over many historic patches of the native plant — the only one that the monarch will lay eggs on.
SoCal gardeners who want to promote and the plant in their backyards can find a wide variety of milkweed at theses nurseries. These plants are not only a great food source for monarchs and other butterflies, but also are perfect for native bees and other beneficial insects. Remember to always call ahead — or check their websites — before heading over to pick up your milkweed.
Grow Native Nursery, affiliated with the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and with locations in Claremont and Westwood, sells Asclepias fascicularis, A. speciosa and often the desert A. subulata
Laspilitas Nursery, located in Escondido:
Moosa Creek Nursery, in Valley Center, sells Asclepias fascicularis and A. speciosa
Recon Native Plants, in San Diego, sells A. californica and A. speciosa (wholesale only):
Tree of Life Nursery, in San Juan Capistrano, sells A. speciosa
*Note: Asclepias speciosa is not actually native to the southernmost ~1/3 of the state, but it’s a beautiful plant and many nurseries are offering it.