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When Should You Plant Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies? | BeCause Tees

When To Plant Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies

Thinking of planting milkweed for monarch butterflies? There’s an ideal time to plant milkweed seeds – let’s explore when this is and why it’s the perfect time.

 Monarch butterfly

Why Plant Milkweed for Monarchs?

The monarch butterfly needs native milkweed to survive. Native milkweed populations have been declining, mainly due to pesticide use and increasing levels of drought caused by climate change. As the migratory monarch butterfly recently entered the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered, planting milkweed has never been so important.

Find out more about the now endangered migratory monarch butterfly.

When To Plant Milkweed

Fall is the ideal time to plant milkweed seeds, particularly during October or November depending on your area, after the first frost. Milkweed seeds need to be planted before the ground is frozen but when temperatures are too low for seeds to sprout. Planting during fall allows the milkweed to become established before winter.

Milkweed seeds can also be planted in the spring, but artificial stratification will be needed by putting the seeds into the fridge. Planting in the fall allows you to take advantage of natural cold stratification, due to the lower winter temperatures. The cold temperatures and moist conditions during winter will stimulate germination.

Milkweed for monarchs

Where to Plant Milkweed

The sunniest spot you can find in your garden is usually the best place! Milkweed requires 6 – 8 hours of sunlight each day. As milkweed seeds planted in the fall won’t sprout until the spring, it’s a good idea to mark the area so you remember where they were planted.

The Importance of Planting Only Native Milkweed

Only native milkweed should be planted to help monarch butterflies. Readily available, tropical milkweed is not native and can cause serious harm to monarch butterflies. Not only does it flower all year round, so monarchs don’t migrate to Mexico, it also contains a parasite that has serious health implications for monarchs and shortens their lifespan.

What Else Should You Plant for Monarch Butterflies?

Monarch butterflies need other native wildflowers that provide nectar. Not only will native nectar-rich flowers attract monarch butterflies to your garden, they’ll also be good for other pollinators too.

Planting native milkweed is a great way to support these beautiful pollinators. Now you know when you should plant milkweed for monarch butterflies and why it's important , do you want to show off your love for pollinators? We've got plenty of pollinator designs to choose from, including the monarch butterfly and monarch symmetry. Pick up a new addition to your closet and we'll plant 10 trees and make a donation to a nonprofit on your behalf - shop now.

 Monarch butterfly clothing

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