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Monarch Butterfiles — The Grow Network Community
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Monarch Butterfiles

Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

Who is planting native flora to provide food and shelter/habitat for Monarch Butterflies? What about providing them with water too?

Through various projects I have going on i have sowed various milkweed seeds in different areas, helping to educate others (in particular) the youth about sowing native seeds (and the importance of native pollinators, not just Monarch Butterflies), and started selling Common Milkweed seeds two years ago.

I am hoping to encourage my state and local municipalities to stop mowing the medians on the highways and to broadcast and/or sow native flora to allow for greater habitat and food for native pollinators.



  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 639 ✭✭✭✭

    I bought additional flower and herb seeds, including milkweed. I'm hoping that the seeds dropped from some wildflowers last year will germinate and grow. I have bird baths in front and behind my home as well. Our crazy Texas weather though, it was 80 a few days ago, we got snow last night and it is to be in the 70"s in a few days lol so who knows? Hopefully they acclimated well enough. I've let the back part of my property grow up, mostly because I could not afford to have it done and I was not up to it but even still I plan on leaving an area for native wildlife and throwing some seeds there, too. We just have to keep trying!

  • blevinandwombablevinandwomba Central PaPosts: 508 ✭✭✭✭

    I planted butterfly weed a few years ago, and it bloomed the first year- it's supposed to take longer, so I was pretty excited. I saw monarch larvae on it last year.

    Thankfully, we do have a lot of milkweed growing wild in my general area.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy @Lisa K @blevinandwomba Sounds righteous about everything! Continue to do what you are doing and encourage others to do the same!

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 383 ✭✭✭✭

    Me! Multiple milkweeds. A cultivar and species butterfly bush and strangely enough I had 3 varieties of butterflies hatch and hang out in my mums last summer, I hope to plant more for more butterflies!

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy Sounds righteous too! To date I have sowed about six different species of milkweeds.

  • SherryASherryA Posts: 250 ✭✭✭

    We get tons of butterflies every summer in our yard. I don't know if you'll be able to see them on the mint plants below. I have video of them, too, but I don't know that I can post video here. I also have butterfly bush, bee balm and black eyed Susan, which they love. I don't harvest from any of those plants as long as the butterflies are enjoying them. I also keep a bird bath for them in the summer, and a shallow pan of water with stones in it for the butterflies and bees. The yard is quite active in the summer!

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭

    The Monarchs migrate through our area in the fall. We have some fallow land with milkweed and various other plants blooming that time of year. They also love our butterfly bush.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @figsagee @VickiP Thank you both sharing and encourage others in your community to do the same!

  • teachercarynteachercaryn Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 220 ✭✭✭

    I have milkweed seeds that I plant yearly to provide food as well as homes for our Monarch Butterfly friends.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @teachercaryn Sounds righteous. What variety of Milkweed do you have?

  • HassenaHassena Posts: 220 ✭✭✭

    good day,

    At previous gardens, we planted a variety of flowers and plants for pollinators. We also left out shallow dishes of water with fruit in them for the butterflies and bees to drink.

    @Obiora E If you are looking to encourage local municipalities to plant flowers. These groups may be offer to insights on the value of flowers instead of grass. There are a few DOT's in the country doing this. Texas, Delaware, New Jersey and I think South Carolina. North Carolina has some flowers that replaced grass too. Great topic! :)


  • DesireeDesiree Posts: 169 ✭✭✭

    I have been building pollinator and wildlife habitats on my property over the last 20 years and it is such a joy to see the fruits of my labor by the visitors who come to my property. I am allergic to bees but since I have lived here I have never been stung even if I am working around them in the garden. It is almost as if we have an unspoken agreement to live together in peace. I have had many wildlife species common in my area show up at one time or another. My big surprise was a mink on my deck! The nearest creek where they would typically burrow is over a mile away.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @Hassena Thank you for sharing the information. I have read about what Texas has done in an issue of "Birds and Blooms" magazine. I have also seen similar work being done I believe when driving through Virginia.

    Some parts of our state are on Board as there have been proclamations from the Governor about pollinators, a statewide pollinator protection plan was adopted, and some municipalities have done similar things, along with utility companies and businesses, but it is not widespread enough and there is a definite disconnect but education, time, patience, and Native Seeding (like Johnny Appleseed) can help bring about needed changes to develop a balanced ecosystem.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @desireet02 Sounds really righteous that you have been doing this for so long! Continue to do what you have been doing and help encourage others to do the same.

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 145 ✭✭✭
    edited February 10

    Monarchs can suffer losses as road kill. So flowers off the road might be better than just roadside flowers. Though perhaps 4 percent loss to roadkill may be less than the loss that would occur without the roadside flowers.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @pamelamackenzie Thank you for sharing. I had never thought about that. But presumably on the sides of a highway they would be far enough from traffic that they would be okay?!

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 639 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm in Texas and thanks to Lady Bird Johnson's efforts there are many roadside flowers. But I have rarely ever hit one with a car, even in the high speed areas so I think it's mostly okay. When I first started driving I would dodge butterflies and frogs on our country road. Come to think of it that might be one reason my mother wanted to commit me (that and I would argue with her about things) 😜😂😂😂

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    The Texas DOT has requested a study on monarch roadkill but I don't know if it has been published yet. See https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/rti/statements/2019/rfp3/20-131.pdf , which is the request for the study. A good general monarch study is at file:///home/chronos/u-0dbb8e357bdb6bcd736fd26432fa54d7d755bfb8/MyFiles/Downloads/CoulsonandBaumMonarchTAMUFinalReport14Jan2019.pdf

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @pamelamackenzie The second link won't work as it's local to your computer.

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    @pamelamackenzie And when the study has been finalized and conclusions are made could you post the final document? I am curious as to what they find out. I wonder too if some of this has to do with other changes, as I know that birds were having a similar issue about eight years ago.

  • Dennis BriesDennis Bries Southeastern WisconsinPosts: 12 ✭✭✭

    I've been keeping bees for over fourty years. This last year has been the most challenging and disasterous year. To begin the year, 50 percent loss of package bees introduced to replace previous loss due to colony collapse followed by need to feed the remainder of the colonies though the middle of July! Decided to quit since local trees and flowers should have been providing nectar and pollen. However, the colonies never produced any excess. About the time the corn and soybeans in the area started to produce nectar and pollen, the crop sprayers and heilicopters went by within less than 100 feet hives all around -- several days later, most of the field force of bees were gone! The last warm spell just before Thanksgiving resulted in Thousands of bees littering the ground and hive interior -- dead!


  • teachercarynteachercaryn Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 220 ✭✭✭

    @Obiora E it is wild milkweed so it’s unknown, however, the monarchs thrive

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Obiora E Congrats! for being among the three winning posts of the two new topics...

  • tla.cls.mttla.cls.mt Posts: 19 ✭✭✭

    Excellent!!! I have a large bed of Echinacea they seem to like. I’ll be adding milkweed & other flowers to my butterfly garden this year.

  • harpianoharpiano Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    anyone have any growing/ starting tips for milk weed. I've been trying for 2 years to start it as I want a flower buffer for butterflies and bees. I just can't get them going. If they start, they just don't like my weather. Thank you

    Right now I'm logging my monthly flowers for the year. My goal is to have several flowers flowering all year long in my Hawaiian weather. You can send me your tips at [email protected] or here

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    Correct post for the monarch study is https://comptroller.texas.gov/programs/natural-resources/docs/CoulsonandBaumMonarchTAMUFinalReport14Jan2019.pdf

    The newer study being done is a two year study and won't be out for a while.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 235 ✭✭✭

    As a master gardener, we were able to get a hold of some Canadian milkweed plants. The monarchs love it. I have two beds that are now 10 feet by 40 feet of milkweed and Echinacea. Letting the native milkweed and the Canadian self seed so they have really been expanding. Had hundreds of butterfly’s all summer. Great to see. Good luck everyone with your endeavors.

  • burekcrew86burekcrew86 Posts: 170 ✭✭✭

    Already got my milkweed seeds to plant this year. I try to have a lot of different plants that are welcoming to pollinators. They love my echinacea!

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 164 ✭✭✭

    In British Columbia, the Milkweed plant was eradicated in past years, apparently by using sprays etc. I believe ranchers encouraged this because the plant is toxic to a number of animals, including cattle, deer, goats, sheep, etc. In killing off the source of nutrition for the Monarch, the butterfly is almost non-existent here. I personally haven't seen a live Monarch since I moved here a decade ago. And don't recall seeing one since I was a kid, marvelling over the beautiful caterpillar and chrysalis that I found in the fields in Ontario .

    That said, there is an active group here who encourages us to grow milkweed. One almost has to be a rebel to do it, since the earlier prohibition sticks in people's back mind when they forget WHY it is necessary to reverse the travesty. I tried in the last two years, and no plant grew to it's potential. However, I have new seeds this year and will once again plant.

    And, this is a wonderful surprise for me: Some folks who have grown just a couple of plants in their garden have seen monarchs touching down there!! Why they are passing here after all this time, and how their radar can find such a minuscule offering is a miracle to me.

    We have many other butterflies in our area and because we have left part of our land wild, they can find some food naturally.

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 267 ✭✭✭

    i let milk weed grow one year in my strawberry patch needless to say it killed most of my strawberry plants, before i knew it was amedicinal plant i attempted to digg it up the roods were 4feet under ground we get irrigation 1 time a week for 24 hrs. i attempt to keep it pulled up out of my reestablished strawberry patch and have it now growing else where, but digging up the root for medicinal purpose has become interesting , i know i cant kill it by doing that cause it keeps coming back in my strawberries. also butterflies like wet mud with very small amount of water to drink from so ive kept from fixing a small drip in my irrigation and it keeps the ground wet enough to become a drinking place for butter flies i also have a waterer for bees and the butterflies go there also

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