Nothing says summer quite like the activity of butterflies in the garden. With their majestic presence and humorous antics, they are a welcome site in the heat. By creating a Monarch Waystation, you could help one of most treasured butterflies.
Planning and installing a butterfly habitat is simple and rewarding. All you have to do is provide them with shelter, food, and water.
Monarch Waystations do have specific requirements for certification with monarchwatch.org. There isn’t a minimum size requirement, but we recommend that they be at least 100 square feet.
It is important that your waystation be installed in an area that receives full sun. Butterflies are most active in full sun.
To provide shelter, be sure that your plants are close together but not crowded. A good rule of thumb is to have your plants 12-18” apart throughout your waystation.
Monarch caterpillars rely on Milkweed Plants, they are their only food source before they become Monarch butterflies. Our team recommends that you plant at least 10 Milkweed Plants to give your Monarch butterflies the best chance of survival. If you offer the Monarchs the four milkweeds that are native to Maryland, we are sure that you’ll have success with creating their new habitat. The four native milkweeds are Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed), Asclepias syriaca (Common milkweed), Asclepias tuberosa (Orange milkweed), and Asclepias verticillata (Whorled milkweed).
Planting a variety of nectar producing plants will serve as the food sources for the Monarchs once they become butterflies.Some favorite flowers of butterflies include Achillea (yarrow), Agastache (hyssop), Baptisia (false indigo), Conoclinium coelestinum (hardy ageratum), Coreopsis verticillata (threadeaf coreopsis), Echinacea (coneflower), Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master), Eutrochium maculatum (Joe Pye weed), Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed), Heleiopsis helianthoides (oxeye sunflower), Liatris spicata (blazing star), Monarda didyma (bergamot), Penstemon digitalis (beardtongue), Pycanthemum muticum (mountain mint), Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed susan), and Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed).