Milkweed for Monarchs

Milkweed Plants for Monarch Butterflies

The season is now over for planting milkweed for Monarchs. Thank you so much – you’ve put in hundreds of plants again and the butterflies appreciate it! We’ve seen photos of the monarchs in your gardens and it’s beautiful. Do come back in the spring when we will have more, and stay warm this winter.


Milkweed For Monarchs

Sustainable Wellesley is helping residents do their part to support the Monarch butterfly – by sourcing milkweed for you to put in your yard.  Monarch populations are crashing and one reason is the lack of milkweed that Monarch caterpillars *must* eat to survive.  And milkweed is a beautiful pink and white plant that attracts even more beautiful butterflies to your home!

milkweed and plantAmazingly enough,

Monarchs can produce four generations during one summer. After overwintering in the oyamel forests of central Mexico the first three generations have life spans of two to six weeks and keep moving north. During this time they will mate and have the next generation that will continue the northward migration. The fourth generation is different and can live up to nine months, and this is the one that needs to find milkweed in your yard. These are also the butterflies that will migrate south for winter to either Mexico or southern California.

CaptureMonarch numbers have plummeted…

…by 90 percent in recent years from both the loss of its overwintering grounds, and from the widespread elimination of milkweed in the United States by the use of herbicides like Roundup.  This is where you come in: by planting milkweed in your (herbicide-free, pesticide-free) yard you provide the vital link in the Monarch lifecycle.  Each year Sustainable Wellesley sources the correct species of milkweed for eastern Massachusetts (Asclepias incarnata, and/or tuberosa, and/or syriaca) and makes them available to heroes like you.