When I think about warmer weather (because it’s currently 14ºF in Colorado), I think about enjoying the scents and sounds in my garden, including the delicate flutter of butterflies. Because of their sharp decline over the last 20 years, Botanical Interests is supporting the Butterfly Hero campaign from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Starting March 4, when you pledge to be a Butterfly Hero through their website, you’ll receive a Butterfly Garden kit complete with Botanical Interests seed packets.
Curtis and I have a special connection to the Monarch butterfly—our first date was to the Natural Bridges State Beach Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve in Santa Cruz, California. Monarchs dripping from the swaying eucalyptus branches and fluttering over our heads was a beautiful sight and very romantic. Sowing butterfly-friendly varieties in my garden each year keeps that memory fresh.
One of the best group of plants to sow for Monarch butterflies is the milkweed (Asclepias species). Butterflies will flock to your garden, and you’ll be able to observe the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, as milkweed is the only plant that the adult female Monarch butterfly will lay eggs on, and the sole source of food for their larvae (caterpillars). I love the fiery, red-orange flowers of our Butterfly Flower Milkweed and the cool tones of our Irresistible Blend. Monarchs do need both the host plant (milkweed) and nectar plants, so be sure to provide a variety of flowers for nectar to feed the adult Monarchs.
We hope that by growing milkweed and other butterfly-friendly varieties, including rudbeckia and dill, in our garden, as well as partnering with NWF, we can inspire other Botanical Interests gardeners to do a small part in their gardens, too. Together we can make a big difference in replenishing butterfly habitats.