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Monarch butterfly on sunflower

Supporting Monarch Butterflies as Pollinators

The Monarch butterfly population is declining worldwide due to loss of habitat. One of President Sandy Robinson's focus areas for her President's Special Project is the plight of the Monarch, and a commitment to creating gardens and habitat that will help to restore their population to health. To do this, she has created four programs under the Monarch Watch banner to foster NGC support:

 

Container Gardening for Bees and Butterflies

Join NGC and Monarch Watch to help save Monarch Butterflies Essential Pollinators for our EnvironmentGardens are necessary to the survival of butterflies as well as other pollinators. A butterfly garden can be large or small, as much as a person has room for. If space is limited, container gardening is an option. Further information on container gardening can be obtained from Container Gardening for Bees & Butterflies chairman Mary Ann Moreno. She can be reached at jbmoreno@gmail.com.

Butterfly gardens should include full-sun annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Many of these plants serve as both host plants as well as nectar plants for a wide variety of butterflies. By adding native Asclepias species or Milkweed to your garden, you invite Monarchs to complete their life cycle within the garden by laying eggs that hatch into caterpillars and to form their chrysalis within your garden.

 Pollinators and amphibians are "the canaries in the coal mine" crying out a warning that all is not well. We need to heed their cry and "Leap into Action" before our environment and food sources are severely threatened through the loss of these vitalspecies.

Flower Pots, Patios and Gardens

There's a wide variety of plants that work!

Spring is the time to plant for Butterflies, whether it's in a flower pot, on a patio, or in a garden. Gardens can be any size, 5 x 5 feet or as large as an acre. We can all plant to attract Butterflies!

 

Painted Lady ButterflyWhen planning your garden, both annuals and perennials are helpful. Annuals to include are: Lantana, Nasturtiums, Zinnias, Cosmos, Marigolds, Tithonia (also known as Mexican Sunflowers), and Dill. Perennials we can plant are Purple Coneflowers, Aster, Catnip, Daisies, Coreopsis, Monarda or Bee Balm, Yarrow, Sedum, Phlox, Liatris, and Milkweed.

 

If you have space for a bush or two, Lilacs and Buddleia (also known as Butterfly Bush) are two excellent choices and will attract many Butterflies. Please Do Not use chemicals in your Butterfly Garden! We want to attract those little worms and butterflies, not kill them! Those little worms will someday be a butterfly or moth.

Milkweed and Monarchs

Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch Butterfly. If you need Milkweed, either seeds or plants, you can find additional resources through the Monarch Watch program at http://www.monarchwatch.org/. You can see what variety of milkweed is needed in your area by checking through the regions and seed needs at http://www.monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/milkweed-regions-seed-needs/. Check to see if they have Milkweed for your area at http://monarchwatch.org/milkweed/market/ as that is the variety they will send. Milkweed plugs can be sent free to any school, or non profit organization. Program information and the application can be found at http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/free-milkweeds/.

 

Common MilkweedI personally have three types of Milkweed seeds: Whorled Milkweed, Common Milkweed, and Swamp Milkweed. If these varieties are native to your area, I will be happy to provide you with seeds. Please email me with your request.

You can also check with your State Department of Natural Resources, or Extension Service to see what Milkweed species are native to your area. Let's all work together to plant for Butterflies and keep them off the threatened and endangered species list.

 

 

Commit to Garden for Wildlife!

What's Your Vision of Wildlife Habitat?

The term “wildlife” traditionally refers to non-domesticated animal species. Now, according to Wikipedia the definition for “wildlife” has come to include “all plants, fungi and other organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans”.

Cause and Effect

We worry about some of our past gardening practices and the serious impacts they’ve had on our land, waterways, and our wildlife. We know that some chemicals we've used in our gardens can alter how children develop with life-long effects, cause our pets to be at twice the risk of developing malignant cancer, reduce hatching success and cause birth defects in our birds, and harm our earthworms and beneficial insects and pollinators. We know that runoff from rain and watering adds to contamination of our groundwater and watersheds. We know that wildlife native habitats are decreasing at an alarming rate.

Restoration

We’re gardeners and we keep beautiful yards and landscapes that our friends and neighbors love to visit. And, we take great pride in our specimens that win those coveted blue ribbons! But, it’s equally important to remember that we have an obligation to our “wildlife”; to protect their environment and increase their habitat so that they can thrive and prosper.

Bee a Wildlife Action Hero! Commit to Gardening for Wildlife!With this in mind, we’re asking every NGC member and guest to “Bee a Wildlife Action Hero!” Help gather your clubs, friends and associates and encourage them to Commit to Garden for Wildlife. Show them the way in your own backyard, and also in your public places and with your Junior Gardeners at their homes and schools! Practice sustainable gardening, and provide food, water, cover, and a place for wildlife and pollinators to raise their young.

There's More!

Because of NGC’s prominent reputation along with the strength of our membership, we’ve been invited to be an Inaugural Network Partner of the National Pollinator Garden Network and The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. These are awesome programs to support our pollinators and their critical role in the health of our environment.