Plant Milkweed and Nectar Flowers for Monarchs
From: Monarch Joint Venture (www.monarchjointventure.org)
|Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed. Monarch caterpillars need milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) to grow and develop, and female monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed. Much of our milkweed has been lost from our landscape due to changing land management practices such as urban and suburban development and agricultural intensification. Historically milkweed has been viewed as a crop weed or a threat to livestock and has been eradicated.
Please plant milkweed native to your area and a wide variety of high quality nectar bearing flower species to support monarch populations, and their incredible migration! Adult monarchs follow nectar corridors, a series of habitat patches of plants that flower at appropriate times during the spring and fall migrations. They provide stopping off points for the butterflies to feed and stock up during their long migrations.
Planting milkweed is a great way to help other pollinators too, as milkweed provides abundant, high-quality nectar or shelter for a diverse array of other insects, including nectar-seeking bees, flies, and butterflies, and such specialist herbivores as seed bugs, longhorn beetles, and leaf beetles. Native milkweeds are clearly worthy of wider adoption. More than a hundred species of milkweeds (Asclepias) are native to North America and they can be found in deserts, plains, valleys, foothills, open woods, and wetlands. Milkweeds typically grow in disturbed environments including agricultural areas, livestock pastures, ditches, and roadsides; indeed, in some areas, these marginal habitats are the only places where milkweed is regularly seen.
For an information fact sheet on the North American Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and its incredible migration please visit:
For great information about the history of tracking the Monarch Butterfly please visit:
To learn about the White House’s unprecedented alliance for bee and Monarch butterfly recovery
To Purchase Seeds:
|Note: Be careful to not purchase or plant tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, if you are in a temperate region. These plants are becoming naturalized and are suspected in ‘luring’ overwintering monarchs into breaking their dormancy and becoming reproductive which can also spread parasites endangering the population further.
To see what milkweeds grow in your state: