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Save our monarchs – plant milkweed

monarch butterfly

The monarch butterfly has joined honeybees and other insects on the path to extinction. Nearly one billion monarchs have been destroyed since 1990 due to an increasing lack of milkweed plants.

Milkweed serves as the monarchs’ nursery, food source, and home. Not surprisingly, farmers’ and homeowners’ use of herbicides is the major cause of the plant’s decline, and a key culprit is Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has budgeted $2 million to help raise awareness about the need for milkweed and to provide free seeds to anyone willing to plant them. The Save Our Monarch Foundation accepts donations, as does the Monarch Joint Venture. Joint Venture’s site is an especially rich resource for learning more about both the monarch and the plant.

For those interested, milkweed grows in zones 3–9. It takes average soil and water and likes plenty of sunshine, though it will tolerate some shade.

LindaK View All

A lifelong communicator, I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb talking. But with no siblings to chat and play with, I learned to express myself in writing. My subsequent birth as a politics junkie came while I watched my father, a career Marine, sob uncontrollably over Kennedy's assassination. Intuitively, I knew the world would never be the same, and I should pay attention. So I did.

Now, some 50 years later, I find myself dumbfounded by the trajectory of American politics and the prevalence of ignorance, bigotry, hate, and violence. I started Two Cents of Sense, hoping to help change that trajectory and to promote progressives' conversation, knowledge sharing, and actions.

4 thoughts on “Save our monarchs – plant milkweed Leave a comment

  1. Thanks Linda, I had to share this one. Got to make a place in my garden for Milkweed! Just the other day I watched the documentary on PBS on the plight of the butterflies. I think it was made in 2009. These fragile creatures are amazing! Threats and environmental pressures are on them along their journeys and most important is the loss of winter habitat in South America. Great Spring idea for school kids! Plant a butterfly garden!

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  2. So glad to hear you’re sharing the story. We are losing way too many creatures, including the glorious bumble bees. It’s gut-wrenching. I think I’m going to buy five plants from an online nursery I know well. Maybe later, I’ll buy more. I’ve tried growing milkweed before but didn’t provide the best growing conditions. The plants lived but didn’t prosper. They should do great here, assuming they can withstand the winds. Your school project idea is a great one!

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  3. This is really sad!!! I used to see Monarchs ALL THE TIME when I was a kid but I’ve noticed that there haven’t been as many as in the past. If I had my own land I would definitely grow lots of wonderful plants for all kinds of butterflies to come and all kinds of birds, too! I love birds and butterflies. I love God’s beautiful earth and we need to be good stewards of it and protect the life on it!

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    • I’m lucky to have been able to have gardens with lots of butterfly bushes and plants that attract birds and bees. I did try to grow milkweed, but we had an invasive weed that took over the garden and killed the new plants. Since, then, however, I have seen a number of monarchs—not a lot, but a few for sure. All is not yet lost.

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