The Monarch Gardener
A PICKY EATER:
Monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed. It is the only plant the monarch caterpillar can eat. As open fields are lost to development, farms are rid of milkweed, and their cool winter forests are warming, the monarch population is headed into serious decline.
A LONG DISTANT MIGRANT:
Every fall, monarchs that emerge from chrysalises in the Northern US and Southern Canada migrate all the way to their wintering grounds in the cool mountain forests of central Mexico. The following spring they begin their journey north where four generations breed and die along the way before the southern migration begins again.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Gardeners can help this magnificent insect, as well as other native pollinators, by planting native milkweed to ensure the monarch's reproduction and nectar plants to sustain their journey.