Monarch Female On Marsh or Swamp Milkweed
Monarch Population Graph 2013-14
Monarch Population Graph 2013-14. Click to see a larger image.

This winter’s Monarch population count was the lowest ever recorded (see graph to the right)). Some experts fear that 2014 could be the Monarchs’ last migration, meaning they would disappear from Ohio.

The Monarch Caterpillar can eat only insectiside-free, native Milkweed. In the past, ninety percent of the Monarchs’ summer homes have been in US farmlands according to Monarch Watch. Recently, corn and soybean seeds have been genetically modified to make the crops resistant to herbicides. This modification allows farmers to spray their entire farmland to kill all other plants, including the milkweeds that make up Monarch habitat.

Your invaluable garden can help save Monarchs! Each Monarch’s survival depends on anything from a large piece of land to a postage-size garden in the city. Plant 10 Native Milkweed plants (i.e. Common, Marsh/Swamp or Butterfly Weed, but not non-native Tropical Milkweed ) and summer and late-blooming perennial nectar plants.

For more information, see the Backyard Habitat Attracting Butterflies site and or look at the Plant Milkweed Web site. Once you plant your milkweeds, be sure to water them so that leaves stay tender for Monarch caterpillars to chew. Looking for sources for native plants? See our starter list of native plant vendors.

It works! Watch a short video of my yard to see butterflies feeding on native plants: Monarchs are mating in a tree toward the end of the video. Spread the word to create a no-spray, no-mow Monarch Trail. We created Bluebird Trails to save bluebirds. Why not a Monarch Trail? Learn more at my website or email me at toni@backyardhabiat.info.

Monarch Female On Marsh or Swamp Milkweed
Monarch Female On Marsh or Swamp Milkweed

Monarch Caterpillar Eating Butterfly Weed
Monarch Caterpillar Eating Butterfly Weed

Mature Butterfly Weed
Mature Butterfly Weed