THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY PROJECT
In an effort to promote sustainable cooperation with local species of flora & fauna, proceeds from our 5th Anniversary Celebration will be donated to The Monarch Butterfly Project at the Kansas City Zoo.
The Monarch Butterfly is on a path towards extinction, with a 99% decrease in population over the past 40 years.
In Missouri, the Monarch butterfly can be found in a wide variety of habitats, from fields and grasslands to roadsides urban plantings.
Because the Monarch butterfly plays such an important role in all the ecosystems they pass through during migration, we encourage you to plant milkweed for the larvae and a variety of native wildflowers that supply nectar throughout the entire growing season for the adult Monarch butterfly.
STARTING YOUR BUTTERFLY GARDEN
The best time to plant milkweed seeds is in the fall so the cold temperatures and moisture that come with winter stimulate germination. You can also plant milkweed in the springtime.
Milkweed seed can be planted directly in soil, or started indoors.
You can sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover them with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established.
STARTING IN POTS
Fill some small flower pots with potting soil. Place a few seeds on top of the soil (about one seed per inch). Sprinkle a little soil over the seeds and press down firmly.
Set the pots outside in an exposed, sunny location. Cold weather won’t kill the seeds. In fact, ice, snow, and rain will help “wake” them up so they’ll sprout in the spring.
TO THE GARDEN
When the sprouts have grown at least three pairs of leaves, you can transplant them to a sunny, weed-free location in your yard. Select your location carefully. Young plants at least six hours of sunlight each day. Milkweed is a perennial, which means it will grow back every spring.
Monarchs return to Missouri by May and begin laying eggs.
Watch for females fluttering above your milkweed patch,
and check each plant closely for tiny eggs and caterpillars.