Join the National Effort to Restore Monarch Habitats
The Monarch Butterfly needs our help. Collectively, even the smallest patch of native milkweed growing in our backyards—can help to restore and replace habitat lost from decades of pesticides and development.
Even One Native Milkweed Plant Makes a Difference.
A simple stand of native milkweed can make every backyard, school, community center, city park and place of worship a haven for breeding or migrating monarchs, and together we can bring about the greatest citizen conservation victory of our generation.
Dan Ashe, Director
The US Fish & Wildlife Service
Why Just Milkweed? And Why Native?
Milkweed is the only plant the Monarch Butterflies use to breed and is the main source of food for their developing larvae.
Plant the Right Kind of Milkweed—Asclepias
There are many kinds of milkweed, but choosing which to grow is simple: local and regional natives only. Native is the key word, but please don’t disturb milkweed in the wild to add to your yard.
Grow your own milkweed from seed or buy plugs from nurseries specializing in native plants. Availability of native milkweed from nurseries fluctuates and some nurseries may sell non-native varieties alongside natives. Avoid non-natives, like Tropical Milkweed, as their extended growing seasons can disrupt the Monarch migration cycle!
Want to Know More?
To learn more about milkweed and the national collaboration underway to save the Monarch Butterfly, see the US Fish & Wildlife ‘Save the Monarch Butterfly‘ resource page.
Where to Buy Native Milkweed Plants
The Maryland Native Plant Society lists area nurseries who stock native varieties assured to have a local or regional heritage. The society recommends calling the vendors to check availability.
Of the dozen or so types of milkweed native to Maryland, your best choices include: Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa, Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata and Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca.
Grow Your Own from Seed
If you decide to start your milkweed from seeds (super easy to grow!), start with quality, all-native, non-GMO seeds. You can start the seeds indoors earlier, or sow them directly in the ground.
We stock and highly recommend the following all-native non-GMO seeds and seed blends from Botanical Interests:
- Bring Home the Butterflies
- Butterfly Flower Irresistible Milkweed Blend
- Butterfly Flower Common Milkweed
- Butterfly Flower Showy Milkweed
On our page ‘Flowers to Attract Bees, Birds and Butterflies‘, you’ll find specific information and planting guides for each seed type or seed blend we recommend.
Support Other Pollinators
Milkweed nectar also nourishes native bees and other beneficial insects,too! If you’d like to support our hard-working pollinators while also attracting Hummingbirds and Songbirds to your yard, we recommend these seed blends:
- Save the Bees
- Flower Mix Songbird Delight
- Hummingbird Haven
Please Share this Message
The potential of a full Monarch Butterfly recovery is exciting, but population remains far below where it needs to be to meet the US goal of 250 million by 2020. The action needed is immediate and simple:
Plant Milkweed, America!
Please spread the news and encourage everyone you know to join in the national effort to Save the Monarch Butterfly!