Providing Nectar For Monarch Butterflies in Summer
While the relationship between milkweed and the monarch butterfly is well known, less appreciated is the importance of nectar plants in monarch conservation efforts. Researchers suggest nectar plants are one of the most limiting factors affecting monarch populations. Many annual and perennial wildflowers provide a rich source of nectar for monarch butterflies throughout the summer months.
To better attract butterflies to the garden, plant several individuals of the same species in a large clump, rather than spreading individual plants throughout a garden. This produces blocks of color that butterflies and other pollinators can locate in flight. Include clumps of several different species that are appropriate for your region, to ensure blooms are available throughout the year.
Monarch butterflies reproduce throughout the summer months as they continue their northward movement. The milkweed species mentioned above are necessary in both summer gardens in northern states, as well as in spring gardens in the south.