Milkweeds & Monarchs

Monarch Butterfly On Common MilkweedWith the dramatic decline of the Monarch Butterfly, milkweeds and pollinator favorites are the name of the game in today’s native landscaping. Why? Milkweeds provide the exclusive food to the Monarch's caterpillar. Consider planting a milkweed and season long bloom times to aid in their recovery.


Also because we have lost so many milkweeds in the last 20 years to genetically modified crops being sprayed over and over again with glyphosate.  When we lose the host plant, we lose the species.  Monarchs migrate up to 3,100 miles each season to Mexico to over winter.  Is that correct? YES!! It takes Monarchs up to 5 generations to migrate down there were they hang out in fir trees for protection.  However, the Monarch’s overwintering grounds are being lost to legal and illegal logging.  This on top of the milkweed loss, global warming, loss of habitat, stresses, and the list goes on, is really making for a trend to extinction.

You Are What You Eat….

Illinois is smack dab in the middle of their migration, which is so important to give them great food for their flight!!! They need milkweeds to gain energy to move from the caterpillar stage to the adult butterfly stage.  Then they need quality nectar sources thoughout the season to give them the energy and other vital nutrients to migrate, reproduce, and then migrate again.  Native plants are far better than many other sources.  Quality native nectar food sources are plants such as milkweeds, but more so; Asters, coneflowers, Liatris, Monarda, Penstemon, goldenrods, and almost all native flowering plants.

Read More about Monarch milkweed and habitat needs. Interested in other butterfly host and nectar plants, click here.


Plant a native garden with a diversity of plants and flowers to help these Monarchs out!!!