Sunny, medium to dry soil

Basic Monarch Butterfly Waystation Kit (bloom time in parentheses):

1 American Red Plum (spring, shrub), 5 gallon

3 common milkweed (summer), quart

3 swamp milkweed (summer; adapts to drier sites), quart

4 butterfly milkweed (summer/fall), quart

1 joe-pye weed (summer), gallon

1 wild bergamot (summer), gallon

3 black-eyed susan (summer), quart

1 hyssop-leaved boneset (summer), quart

1 buttonbush (late summer), gallon

3 New England aster (summer/fall), quart


(Monarch photo by Joshua Cotton)

To Create a Monarch Waystation

  • Monarch Butterflies migrate thousands of miles each fall -- from areas in the United States and Canada to central Mexico -- and then back again in the spring.  Along the way, they stop for nourishment and shelter, and to lay their eggs.  

    Monarchs need new breeding grounds to replace the millions of acres lost to development and herbicide applications.

    To encourage Monarch waystations, Monarch Watch is offering Official Monarch Habitat Certification to homeowners who meet the guidelines required to sustain the Monarchs.

    These include a garden of at least 100 square feet in a mostly sunny spot. The garden should have at least 10 milkweed plants -- the flowers Monarch butterflies use, exclusively, to lay their eggs.

    Milkweeds that grow naturally here include swamp milkweed, butterfly milkweed and common milkweed.

    The plants should be close together (2 to 10 per square yard) to give the Monarchs cover but not crowd them.

    In addition, Monarchs need perennials and shrubs that provide nectar, and you’ll need to add a zinia or Mexican sunflower.

    Once you’ve built your Monarch Waystation, be sure to go to and have it registered!