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Core Habitat: Plant Your Own Butterfly Garden

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One in three mouthfuls you eat comes from the busy work of pollinators such as butterflies.


If you rewild even a small space in your garden or community with insect friendly plants, their blooms will attract and feed a variety of insects. Planting milkweed will boost the chances for the endangered monarch butterfly. Now that’s a win-win-win!

Keep scrolling for instructions.

Here's what to do:

  • Call a meeting to discuss the urgent need of a monarch friendly garden. Get permission and recruit the help of a parent, teacher or community leader.

  • Choose a site in an existing garden or find a suitable new spot that offers sun and partial shade for butterflies to eat and rest on hot days. Monarchs need shelter from wind to successfully eat and lay their eggs.

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  • There are over 100 native milkweed varieties in North America. Research what grows best near you – some kinds like wet soil (swamp milkweed), while others prefer well drained soil (common milkweed). In the fall you can collect native milkweed seeds for planting or buy from a trusted website online for about $5 for 100 seeds.

  • Turn over the soil with a shovel and dig in some compost. Press seeds into the soil gently with your finger. Cover the holes with soil and water lightly. Plant in clusters of 6 or 8 seeds so the plants will grow close together and hungry caterpillars never run out of food.

  • Milkweed plants require: no fertilizing, trimming, staking, or fussing.

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