Sunny, medium to dry soil
Basic Monarch Butterfly Waystation Kit (bloom time in parentheses):
3 common milkweed (summer), quart
3 swamp milkweed (summer; adapts to drier sites), gallon
4 butterfly milkweed (summer/fall), quart
Any 10 of the following (mix and match), gallon containers:
Sweet joe-pye weed
(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. They also need sun; your garden should be planted in an area that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
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 spaced 12 to 18 inches apart to give the Monarchs cover but not crowd them.
In addition, Monarchs need perennials that provide nectar, such as Joe Pye Weed, Wild Bergamot or asters. You'll need at least 10 of these as well.
Once you’ve built your Monarch Waystation, be sure to go to Monarchwatch.org and have it registered!