Milkweed for Monarchs
Sustainable Wellesley helps residents do their part to support the Monarch butterfly – by annually 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. Milkweed is a beautiful pink, white, or orange plant that attracts even more beautiful butterflies to your home!
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.
Monarch 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.