Monarch Butterfly Guide: Step-by-Step Planting Instructions
- Check for your last frost date and plant after this has passed. Choose a spot on your property that gets 6 or more hours of direct sun a day.
- Prepare your soil before clearing the area of all existing growth. Simply dig up everything that is growing, turn the soil and rake the area flat. If this is an area that has never before been gardened, you may need to till the area up to remove growth.
- Mix the seeds with sand for better visibility and scatter the seeds directly on top of the soil. If you are sowing a larger area, we recommend using a seed spreader; if not, you can sow by hand.
- We recommend lightly compressing the seeds into the soil, making sure not to bury them. You can either walk on them, use a board or if you are sowing a larger area, rent a seed roller.
- Water so that the soil is moist, not soaking wet, until the seedlings are about 4-6" tall. After that, the seedlings will survive on natural rains. If you are experiencing very dry weather, we recommend watering occasionally.
It may take several weeks for the seeds to grow. Be patient. If you have any questions about germination time or planting, please don't hesitate to call us at (877) 309-7333.
Fun Facts About Monarch Butterflies
- Monarchs feed primarily on wildflowers, including Butterfly Milkweed, Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Joe Pye Weed, Stiff Goldenrod, Zinnia, Sulphur Cosmos, Sweet Alyssum, Indian Blanket, and Marigolds.
- The black and orange coloring of their wings sends a warning to predators that the Monarch is foul-tasting and poisonous.
- Millions of Monarchs migrate to Mexico for the winter!
- Monarchs use updrafts of warm air to help them glide as they migrate, conserving energy on their long trips to over-wintering sites in Mexico.
- Monarchs smell with their antennae! They use their eyes to locate flowers and then use their antennae to smell the nectar and taste the flower with the bottoms of their feet. They have special receptors on the ends of their feet, called tarsi, that taste sweet liquids.
- The Monarch larva, or caterpillar, sheds its skin five times before entering the pupal stage. Each stage is called an "instar."
- Male monarch butterflies have a black spot on a vein on each hind wing. Females have no spots on this vein.