Core Habitat: Plant Your Own Butterfly Garden
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.
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.