Every year, the monarch butterfly makes a gruelling 4,000 kilometre migratory trek to its wintering grounds and back. That’s like completing 95 marathons! Besides sheer exhaustion, these majestic butterflies are struggling to find a place to land when they reach Mexico (as their habitat is being robbed by deforestation). And in Canada and the United States? Agriculture and citizens spray their crops and gardens with pesticides and herbicides – killing off their primary food source – the milkweed.
The fact of the matter is, the monarch could use a little help.
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Ditch pesticides and herbicides. They kill off the “weeds” that monarchs need to survive.
Fill your garden with great sources of nectar this spring like crabapple, hawthorn, lilac, violet, bleeding heart, dogwood, and lupine. Nectar is what adult butterflies use to get the energy for their migration.Plant
Plant milkweed. You’ll want to do some digging to find out which are native to your corner of the nation. As a rule of thumb, if you live in Ontario, Quebec or the Maritimes, look into common milkweed, swamp milkweed or butterfly weed.
If you live in Western Canada, you’ll want to check out showy, green and oval-leafed milkweed. But before you grow milkweed in your garden, please check with your provincial Ministry of Agriculture for any special regulations.
Help the Monarchs