Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Home & Living
  3. Gardening

Bring monarch butterflies to your yard this summer

See also

The migrating monarch butterfly populations are at an all-time low, according to a recent newsletter from Park Seed, but you can help by planting butterfly-friendly plants in your gardens.

Among the reasons suspected for the decline are deforestation and climate change, among other things, but a lack in wild butterfly weed (also known as milkweed or Asclepias) is also to blame. Wild Asclepias were once found among corn and soy crops, but herbicides used on the crops will kill the butterfly weed. Monarchs need Asclepias to survive, and are also pollinators of many vegetables, so the long-range lack of monarchs and damage to crops has yet to be seen.

Monarchs lay their eggs in butterfly weed plants, and the resulting caterpillars will only eat butterfly weed; from here, they will also transform into butterflies. They will return to these plants just two weeks into their adult lives to lay their eggs. This cycle will repeat for three generations, and the fourth generation, born in the fall, will migrate.

Traditional butterfly weed is an easy perennial to grow, with orange flower clusters and a vanilla scent; it is hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Newer varieties are available in other colors.

Here are a few other butterfly-friendly plants you can try in your gardens:

· Aster

· Sweet alyssum

· Catmint

· Cosmos

· Coneflower

· Phlox

· Zinnia

Check out all of Paula’s Buffalo Examiner columns:

· Buffalo Events

· Buffalo Sports Travel

· Buffalo Travel

· Buffalo Gardening

· Buffalo Baking

· Buffalo Motorsports

Follow Paula on:

· Facebook – Paula Thompson Freelance

· Twitter - @paulat14

· Website – paulathompsonfreelance.com

· Flickr – PaulaThompsonFreelance

Contact Paula at paulathompsonfreelance@gmail.com

Advertisement

Life

  • Tom Petty
    Seven overlooked videos that prove the genius of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Today's Buzz
  • Gaylord Pickens
    Discover Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum dollar days
    Camera
    6 Photos
  • Yoga poses
    Learn how to strengthen your core muscles with these yoga poses
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Baby boomer STD rates
    Sexually transmitted diseases: Baby boomers booming STD rates
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Open relationships
    Are you thinking about exercising your option to be in an open relationship?
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Medical symptoms
    See which symptoms should cause you to seek a doctor’s attention right away
    Camera
    6 Photos