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Rob Zimmer
Now Media Group

Q: When is the best time to divide my hostas?

A: That convenient thing about hostas is that, if need be, they can be divided at just about any time. My personal choice is spring, just as the pips are emerging. This will allow the plant to still form a nice, full and round clump as it matures throughout May. Fall is also wonderful, however, you may wish to shear back the foliage for convenience.

Q: What are the best plants to help the monarchs?

A: Monarchs need a combination of host plants and nectar plants to thrive. As most people are aware, milkweed is the only host plant that monarch caterpillars will feed upon. There are several varieties native to Wisconsin. The most colorful and compact is orange milkweed, often sold commercially as butterfly weed. It is especially important to provide late-season nectar plants for monarchs migrating through during September and October. Some of the best include Joe-pye weed, New England aster, ironweed, black-eyed Susan, as well as annuals such as zinnia, sunflowers, cosmos, garden heliotrope, lantana and tall verbena.

Rob Zimmer is a certified Master Gardener. If you have a question, email Rob at

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