Create a Butterfly Garden to Help Save the Monarchs June 10 2015 135 Comments
The population of the beautiful monarch butterfly has been decimated in the last twenty years, declining by ninety percent. It is primarily due to the loss of the one and only plant on which monarchs lay their eggs and the subsequent caterpillars feed: milkweed. This is due to the development of the wild land and fields that once grew milkweed, as well as the increased use of herbicides. It is up to us to make sure the monarch does not become extinct! Read the full Newsweek article here.
The ray of light in this tragedy is that we can easily help save the monarchs, and it's not about donating money (though you can do that too!). The Save our Monarchs Foundation will send you free milkweed seeds to plant in your yard. (You do need to pay a small amount for shipping or send a self-addressed stamped envelope.) Check out this awesome opportunity here:
Once you have planted your milkweed, why stop there? Adult monarchs enjoy other flowers beside milkweed blossoms, as do other butterflies, so why not create a butterfly garden?
Choose a nice, sunny spot and a variety of plants and flowers. Adult butterflies are attracted to bright colors like red, purple, pink, yellow, and orange. It is also important to have plants on which butterfly larvae like to feed, such as dill. For a complete list and some great info, check out the National Wildlife Foundation's website:
A few options that we like -
chamomile and cone flowers
orange butterfly plant and daisies
zinnias and dill (in addition to cone flower and chamomile)
And don't forget to leave room for the milkweed! Please help spread the word to everyone you know who might be able to plant some milkweed seeds. Note that there are multiple species of milkweed, and the one that Save our Monarchs provides for free will not grow in extremely dry, sandy climates.
They also have a Facebook page to help get the word out.
Good luck in creating a beautiful, peaceful, butterfly-filled garden!