Maintain The Monarch Migration


Grow Milkweed

You can order seeds through this website.

Habitat restoration is a primary goal in monarch conservation efforts. Habitat requirements change during migration. During the fall migration, butterflies must have access to nectar-producing plants. During the spring migration, butterflies must have access to larval food plants and nectar plants.


monarch caterpillar

"Starr 050208-3854 Asclepias physocarpa" by Forest & Kim Starr. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Caution

Milkweed plants are food for caterpillars but poisonous to humans. Do not get milkweed sap on your skin or in your eyes. Milkweed is also toxic if eaten, so keep plants away from young children and pets.

How to Help

Monarch caterpillars ONLY eat milkweed. In fact, the monarch butterfly is also known as the “milkweed butterfly.” The milkweed plant provides all the nourishment the monarch needs to transform the Monarch caterpillar into the adult butterfly.
But these plants are rapidly disappearing, due to the loss of habitat stemming from land development and the widespread spraying of weed killer on the fields where they live.
It’s easy to grow your own Milkweed!
There are many varieties of milkweed. There are some which thrive in full sun, in humid conditions and even in very dry conditions. As a perennial, they will come back every year, despite harsh winter conditions. They typically bloom rosy pink flowers, and are the preferred host plant for the monarch butterfly.

monarch caterpillar and egg

"Monarch caterpillar and egg". Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Butterfly Gardens

After it becomes a butterfly, the monarch has a much more varied diet. It starts out extracting the nectar from the milkweed flowers, but butterflies consume nectar from many different plants.
If you plant these in your garden you will attract butterflies: