How to Create a Monarch Butterfly Garden
In the past years, the monarch butterflies population has declined rapidly. The rapid decrease in population is attributed to climatic changes and extermination of plants that are important for monarch’s survival. If you love butterflies and would love to contribute towards increasing their population, you have to focus on creating a monarch butterfly garden. The garden can be any size from a landscaped yard, window box to a small untended area of your garden.
How to create a monarch butterfly garden
Choosing a location to set your butterfly center is crucial. The location should have access to natural and direct sunlight, low foot traffic and protection from the wind. Determine whether you will plant potted plants or from seeds. When planting seeds, it takes 4 to 6 weeks for germination to take place or for seedlings to be ready for transplanting to the butterfly garden.
What to plant
When choosing plants, always go for native species. If you are not sure about the native plant and flower species for your area, check in gardening magazines, seedling catalogs or books that are dedicated to butterfly gardening. It is important to know what will work for you.
However, you should include plants that butterflies will need during their growth lifecycle. For monarch butterflies, the larvae and egg stages rely on milkweed species while the adults rely on flowers that are rich in fragrance and nectar. These flowers include; sunflowers or any orange, yellow, purple or pink nectar producing flowers.
Prepare the soil and if it is not fertile enough, add some organic fertilizer. Apply mulch to alleviate soil erosion, maintain moisture and slow growth of weed. Plant outdoors and after planting, keep the garden well maintained by ensuring it is watered, weeded and replace the mulch on time.
Do not forget to add a water source. Butterflies need water too for survival. Maintain a moist mud puddle within the garden or keep a bucket full of wet sand. Also, consider adding flat stones around the garden to offer a warm up and resting place for your butterflies.
Similar plants and flower species should be planted together for the butterflies to easily find your garden. Moreover, you should consider the flowers blooming seasons to ensure that your garden is always thriving with plant and butterfly life.
Importance of having monarch butterflies
Monarch butterflies are pollinators and a source of food for some animals. Therefore, they are important for maintaining environmental and ecological health. A butterfly garden will offer a home and safe place for the butterflies to lay eggs and ensure the long-term survival of the species. Moreover, the preservation of butterflies is used to teach children about the complete metamorphosis practically. Above all, they offer a rare aesthetic appeal.
Monarch butterflies are beautiful and interesting creatures. A well-maintained butterfly garden not only nurtures monarch butterflies but also offers a fascinating site that every ecology lover would enjoy. If you plant the right plants and flowers that monarch butterflies love, you will enjoy watching them grow and thrive all year round.