Monarchs & Milkweed

Photo by Teri Carter

Photo by Teri Carter

Monarchs Need Your Help! 

There has recently been a sharp decline in Monarch overwintering numbers which may represent the shrinking of their migratory route. The 97% decline from their high over the past 20 years has researchers very concerned. 

Milkweed to lay eggs on is in short supply, according to field observers, and will severely hurt the 3,000 mile Monarch migration from Central Mexico to Central Canada.

On a good year, aproximately 180-280 million Monarchs start migrating, mate, lay eggs along the way and their children continue the round trip. Milkweed is needed along the entire route or they will not survive. It takes more than one milkweed plant for each surviving adult due to natural predators. That is an enormous amount of milkweed! Most North Americans were very lucky to have seen even one Monarch Butterfly over the past few years. 

What can you do? Plant milkweed!!  

At home, at school, at work, church, the library, the local park - anywhere in your community!  Just one mating couple and a good supply of milkweed could produce many healthy fluttering friends for your community.

Check with your local plant nursery to see if they carry milkweed, and encourage them to do so if not.  

SCWF distributes FREE PACKETS OF SEED FOR NATIVE PLANTS which have nectar for monarchs and other pollinators, including milkweed seeds (Asclepias tuberosa), to South Carolina residents.  You can request your packet of seeds each spring.  We have run out of seeds for 2018.  Click here to see a list of the plants which may be included in the seed packet next year.

Additional Information:

How to Plant Milkweed Seeds

More information on Monarch population decline & conservation efforts

Why it's not a good idea to buy caterpillars or butterflies for release