But milkweed not only attracts Monarch and Queen butterflies. It is also a magnet for a somewhat less charismatic insect. Aphids.
The only thing good that can be said about aphids is that they provide tasty snacks for several predators. Including ladybugs.
The milkweed, damaged by both the aphids and the caterpillars, will recover and in time will grow new leaves and become a nice bushy plant once again. In the meantime, they can look pretty nasty and they certainly don't add much beauty to the garden, but I grow them not so much for their beauty as for their usefulness to the butterflies that I want to see prosper. The fact that they also set the dinner table for the wonderful little ladybug beetles is simply lagniappe - one of the many pleasures of the pesticide-free garden.