Milkweed for Monarchs

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are one of the most iconic and easily recognizable species of butterflies in North America. However, migratory monarch butterflies have recently been listed as endangered in the United States. One of the most effective things we can do to help is to plant milkweed for monarchs. Read more

Want to learn more about the best native plants for your garden? Why not try using our native plant finder? You can shop for native plants by state too!

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Monarch Munchables (I) 6-Plant Collection

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Monarch Munchables (II) 6-Plant Collection

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Monarch Munchables (I) 12-Plant Collection

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Monarch Munchables (II) 12-Plant Collection

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Swamp Milkweed Plant Sets

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Whorled Milkweed Plant Sets

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Orange Butterfly Milkweed Plant Sets (I)

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Snowy Milkweed Plant Sets

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butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
globe icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hands holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.
butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
glove icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hand holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.
butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
globe icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hand holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.
butterfly icon
You’ll help birds, pollinators such as bees, butterflies, other insects, amphibians and small mammals, and reptiles.
globe icon
Your impact reaches far beyond your own garden. You’ll be creating habitat for declining wildlife, but also helping to reduce urban heat islands and manage storm water runoff.
house icon
Bring nature home. There’s no easier place to get a daily dose of nature and the physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
hand holding a plant icon
All orders support our non-profit mission to help declining wildlife and expand native plant availability nationwide.

FAQs about milkweed and monarchs

Over the past few decades, migratory monarch populations have declined sharply due to several factors, including the loss of monarch butterfly habitat and the use of pesticides. Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed for survival — it's the only plant monarch caterpillars will eat, and adults will lay their eggs on milkweed leaves.

By planting milkweed for monarch butterfly populations, we can create critical habitats for them and give them a better chance at survival. Several dozen species of milkweed plants are native to North America, including those featured in our milkweed and monarch-focused collections. Check out our collections above!

Milkweed is very easy to grow! You can buy native milkweed plants online or order seeds and sow them directly into your garden. Once they mature, milkweed plants will produce beautiful clusters of flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Monarch butterflies are especially drawn to milkweed, as the plant is the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

If you're looking to create a habitat for monarch butterflies, planting milkweed is a great place to start. Plus, it's a low-maintenance plant that doesn't require much watering or fertilizer. So if you're looking for an easy-to-grow plant that provides a valuable, science-backed habitat garden for wildlife, milkweed is a great choice!

With its striking orange and black wings, the monarch is a familiar sight in gardens and parks across the continent. Monarch butterflies are one of North America's most recognizable and well-loved insects. Every fall, many of them embark on a remarkable journey, migrating thousands of miles to reach their wintering grounds in Mexico. Along the way, they grace gardens and fields with their beautiful orange and black wings.

However, these charismatic creatures are in trouble. Eastern monarch populations have declined by more than 85% in the last two decades. Even more concerning, western migratory monarchs have declined by an estimated 99.9% since 1980. There are many reasons for this, but one of the biggest is the loss of milkweed habitat.

Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed plants for food and shelter. However, milkweed plants are disappearing from fields and gardens across North America due to the widespread use of herbicides and the conversion of natural habitats to grow crops and build urban developments. As a result, monarchs struggle to find the resources they need to survive.

Looking to help out our little monarch friends? You can help by purchasing milkweed plants online and by planting milkweed in your own  pollinator garden. Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed as a food source for their caterpillars, so by planting milkweed, you're giving them a much-needed boost. And don't worry — milkweed is actually quite easy to care for. By creating a habitat for monarchs, you can help ensure that these magnificent creatures will continue to grace our gardens for years to come.

Once you've got your milkweed plants, simply find a good spot in your garden and plant them according to the instructions on the packaging. Then sit back and enjoy watching the monarchs flutter by!

As well as planting milkweeds, there are other things that you can do to help monarch butterflies. If you live in an urban area, you can replace some or all of your lawn with flowerbeds. This will provide the butterflies with a safe place to lay their eggs and find nectar to fuel their long journey south in the fall.

For those living in more rural areas, you can encourage wildflowers to grow on any unused land. You should also  avoid spraying herbicides unnecessarily, as they can be harmful to butterflies. By taking these steps, you'll help monarch butterflies and other pollinators thrive.

Many people think that milkweed plants are poisonous, but this is something of a myth! While all parts of the plant contain a substance called cardenolides (which can be toxic to humans and animals in large quantities), the concentration of this substance is usually not high enough to cause harm.

In fact, milkweed plants have traditionally been used for various medicinal purposes, including treating coughs and bronchitis. So while you shouldn't eat milkweed leaves straight off the plant, there's no need to worry if you accidentally consume a small amount. It’s worth noting, however, that the sap from milkweed plants can irritate your skin (and your eyes), so wear gloves when pruning and don’t rub your face!

Sadly, milkweed is disappearing from our landscape. In just the last 20 years, monarch populations have declined by 85 to 99.9%. One of the biggest reasons for this decline is the loss of milkweed due to herbicide use, development, and other factors.

Planting milkweed is one of the simplest and most effective ways that each of us can help to save monarch butterflies. By planting milkweed in our gardens, we can provide critical habitat for monarchs and give them a chance to thrive.

Planting milkweed is a must if you want to attract monarch butterflies to your garden. But with so many milkweed species to choose from, which one is best for monarchs?

There are a few things to consider when selecting milkweed for monarchs. First, make sure you're buying milkweed plants native to your region. Monarch butterflies have evolved to rely on specific milkweed species, so planting non-native milkweed won't do them any good, and in fact may be harmful to them. Second, choose milkweed varieties that are easy to grow and don't require much care.

With so many milkweed options available, it can be hard to decide which is best for your garden. But by considering the needs of monarch butterflies, you can select a milkweed variety that will provide them with the food and habitat they need to thrive.

​​The best time to plant milkweed seeds is actually in fall or winter. This might seem counterintuitive, but milkweed seeds need a process called stratification in order to germinate. Stratification simulates the conditions that milkweed seeds would experience in nature over winter.

By planting milkweed seeds in fall or winter, you can give them a head start come spring.

If you're planting milkweed for butterflies and other pollinators, choosing the right plant is essential. Milkweed comes in many different varieties, and each one prefers a different type of environment. For example, swamp milkweed thrives in moist, humid climates, and other kinds of milkweed prefer full sun and drier soil.

Make sure that you select milkweed plants that are native to your state, as these will be the milkweeds that are most likely to flourish. You can purchase milkweed plants online, and planting them in your yard is a great way to help the monarch butterfly population.

Monarch caterpillars rely on milkweed as their only food source, but how much milkweed does a monarch need?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. It depends on a variety of factors, including the availability of other sources of the plant and the time of year. However, studies have shown that a single caterpillar can consume up to  12 milkweed leaves per day. Given this fact, it is clear that planting milkweed is essential for supporting monarch populations.

If you're interested in helping monarch butterflies, you can buy milkweed plants or seeds direct from Garden for Wildlife. By learning  how to plant native plants like milkweed, you can make a real difference for these amazing creatures.

Milkweed is the key to saving the monarch butterfly — and it’s easy to grow! Milkweed seeds can be purchased online or in some garden stores, typically germinating within two weeks. Milkweed plants usually reach their full height (about two to three feet) within one growing season, though they may take a few years to produce blooms.

Once milkweed blooms, it will continue to produce flowers until the first frost. Milkweed is essential to the monarch butterfly's life cycle, so make sure to plant some milkweed in your garden this year!