Sorry. But in the last few decades we’ve lost most of our continent’s milkweed due to the pervasive use of the herbicide Round Up on crops. Researchers report that 80-90+ percent of all corn and soybean crops in the United States are grown with “Round-up Ready” seeds. They have been genetically modified to be resistant to RoundUp. The herbicide is sprayed heavily on crops to kill weeds. GMO crops survive but milkweed is wiped out. That’s why we’ve had a catastrophic loss of milkweed and the monarchs that need it for habitat and food.
3. Know Your Milkweed
4. Start Lots of Milkweed Seedlings
A couple of milkweed plants is not enough to help the monarchs, at least not during the first few years before your milkweed starts to spread. Female monarchs lay hundreds of eggs each. They prefer to lay just one egg per milkweed plant. So be generous! Plant lots of seedlings.
5. Plant Milkweed Adjacent to Sturdy Plants
After a mother monarch lays her eggs on your milkweed plants, caterpillars will emerge. They’ll gobble up milkweed leaves for about 2 weeks, then they’ll be ready to form a chrysalis. Caterpillars look for a sturdy place to transform; one that will provide shelter from wind and rain and predators. Sturdy bushes, nearby porches and garden furniture can all make great shelters for chrysalises.
6. Have a Backup Supply of Milkweed
7. Locate Your Milkweed In or Near Your Flower Garden
8. Give Milkweed 3 Years to Spread
9. Don’t Buy Caterpillars
10. Help Monarchs Avoid Predators
Now Share Your Monarchs!
It’s a joy to watch the monarch miracle in action. Share the fun! At Vermont Woods Studios we give away milkweed seeds and seedlings and caterpillars to anyone who stops by and asks for them. That’s how the monarch community is. By helping each other and reaching out to neighbors & friends we are making a difference. Monarch numbers are up this year! Please join us on Facebook and get involved. You’re going to love it.
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She is a CEO who brakes for salamanders, has bottle-fed rescued squirrels and spent her vacation building furniture for a rural school in Costa Rica. She believes in the future and in the people who will build it. A former distance-learning professor at Tulane University with a master’s in environmental health & safety, she turned an interest in forest conservation and endangered species into a growing, local business. She delivers rainforest statistics at breakneck speed, but knows how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a newly finished piece of heirloom furniture.