Our Monarch Waystation
Our yard is certified as Monarch Waystation #581.
Monarch Watch (at the University of Kansas), which sponsors the Monarch Waystation program, estimates that 10,000 of these waystations are needed to even begin to compensate for the milkweed lost to urban sprawl, Roundup-Ready crops (where chemicals kill only "weeds" like milkweed, not crops), global warming, and other factors.
A Monarch Waystation is a big enough area (at least 135 sq. ft.) that:
- has milkweeds
- has nectar plants
- is pesticide-free
When your waystation is certified by Monarch Watch, you're then eligible to purchase this nice metal Monarch Waystation sign shown in the photo. I've displayed it for a few years now, and it still looks as good as new.
It's a good way to spread the word about monarchs since—amazingly—many people don't know that monarchs need milkweeds. And by purchasing the sign, we were also happy to help support Monarch Watch.
Our bumper sticker says it all! "Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed for survival."
Monarch caterpillars can eat ONLY milkweed. No milkweed, no monarchs!
The good news is that there are many different kinds of native milkweed, and many are attractive, gardenworthy plants.
Waystation along road
Here's one of my gardens along the road. It has a lot of nectar plants and milkweed.
I have many kinds of milkweed in my yard, but I find monarchs prefer the swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata). (Note: All milkweeds are of the genus Asclepias.)
Joe-pye weed is a favorite nectar plant. (See more nectar plants.)
This monarch looks very worn. It's probably near the end of its short life.
Here's one of my pesticide signs. After all, monarchs are insects, and insecticides kill insects. We don't use any chemicals—insecticides, herbicides, or fertilizers—and we have a yard brimming with life, with a lot of fruits and vegetables for us, too.