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You can help save the Monarch Butterfly.
The Monarch butterfly is a beautiful and amazing insect. An insect that is disappearing right before our eyes. The Monarch population has decreased by 80% over the last 20 years due to habitat loss and pesticides. Do we have a chance to help save the Monarch butterfly?
These majestic butterflies migrate from Canada to Mexico as they lay eggs along the way. It takes 4 generations of Monarchs to make the trip. It’s a multi-generational journey.
When you see a Monarch butterfly, it’s almost as rare as seeing the Loch Ness monster. They are few and far between compared to when I was a kid.
Monarch butterflies exclusively lay their eggs on milkweed plants. As a child, we used to pick these “weeds” and break them open to see the white “milk” drip out.
I never see these plants where I live now. Aside from my mother
How can we save the Monarch butterfly?
I’m glad you asked.
Monarch butterflies need a habitat
The Monarch relies on milkweed as a nursery for the precious butterfly eggs. Those eggs hatch and out crawls a very hungry caterpillar. The caterpillar eats the milkweed and once it’s ready will form into a chrysalis.
If you want Monarch butterflies in your garden here are a few simple tips. Plant a patch of milkweed and other bright colored flowers that attract butterflies, such as zinnia’s and poppies.
If you want them to reproduce you will have to have milkweed in your garden. This is readily available at garden centers as a plant or in the form of seeds.
Don’t have a garden but want to help?
Twenty years ago I ordered monarch caterpillars by mail for my daughter. We received a little container with milkweed leaves and caterpillars in a mesh cage. We watched the lifecycle and released them outside. She loved it! You can still order these today. See below.
Additional habitat luxuries
If you really want to make your garden a welcome oasis for the Monarch butterfly, add some additional luxuries for them to enjoy.
You can help save the monarch butterfly by giving them a watering station. Do this yourself by using a shallow dish or birdbath and fill it with water. Add stones or glass beads that reach the water surface to give them a spot to light on to while they take a drink.
You can also help save the Monarch butterfly by avoiding all chemical pesticides in the garden. Read my other gardening posts about natural ways to keep pests away here.
Watch them grow
Keep an eye out for Monarch chrysalis on your milkweed. They will hang from the underside of the leaves of the plant. Be careful not to disturb it and let it finish creating a beautiful Monarch butterfly.
Thank you for reading, I hope you will hop over to my Gardening Section for more articles on creating a beautiful garden on a frugal budget.