Help the Monarchs…Plant Milkweed

The Monarch Butterfly is on the decline and may to added to the endangered species list.  Some of the reasons for their decline is deforestation of their winter home in Mexico, increased crop production and pesticide use throughout the continent.  But, there is also a lack of weeds, Milkweed that is.

These beautiful winged creatures make an amazing 3,000 mile trip from Canada to Mexico.  One individual will make the entire trip from Canada, but it takes up to four generations to return from Mexico.  They need Milkweed to lay their eggs on, as it is the Monarch caterpillars’ food. Wild flowers are also an important nectar source for the trip.

You can easily help the butterfly by planting more Milkweed, also called Butterfly Weed. Some areas are even giving out free seed or plants. Milkweed is easy to grow (it is not called weed for nothing).  Different varieties grow in different parts of the continent.  Find out what works for you area and also add some wildflowers.  Don’t give up if the Monarch don’t show up immediately or even this year, eventually they will find it.

A great documentary on the Monarch migration can be found online from the PBS show, Journey of the Butterflies.

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3 Comments on “Help the Monarchs…Plant Milkweed”

  1. Thanks for highlighting this important story! Wanted to point out that there are many varieties of milkweed and apparently it’s important to know which kind to plant. See this link from National Wildlife Federation for more info: http://www.nwf.org/Pollinators/Monarch/Milkweed-Resources.aspx or search online for other stories. PS, saw my first butterflies of the season yesterday & almost did a jig!!! Happy Spring!

  2. Ann Coleman says:

    I had no idea how important milkweed is to Monarch butterflies! Thanks for sharing this…I’m going to look into planting some in my yard.

  3. Christina says:

    The more posts about this the better!


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