This spring however, one butterfly, the Monarch, needs a little extra care and encouragement. Monarch populations are low and as the spring migration progresses, we can extend a special welcome to Monarchs by making sure that the nectar plants they favor are available in our gardens.
Pollinator Partnership has four brochures listing nectar plants that are favored by Monarchs as they migrate along the East Coast. Each brochure is specific to a certain part of the eastern migration route and can serve as a guide to direct gardeners towards which nectar plants should be in bloom when Monarchs pass through. The guides remind us to also plant milkweed which is used as a nectar plant as well as for caterpillar rearing.
No time to get ready for the spring migration? The guides also list nectar plants that will be blooming during the fall migration. Plants put in the ground this spring, should be flowering nicely by fall, ready for Monarchs as they head towards Mexico.
The Pollinator Parthership guides start in the Green Zone for Florida and parts of Georgia. The Orange Zone is continues with plant suggestions for some of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The Blue Zone covers part of North Carolina and Virginia. And finally, the Yellow Zone covers the time from mid-May through mid-June when the Monarchs pass through part of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
Not only will the nectar plants suggesting in these guides appeal to Monarchs but to many other butterflies and pollinators as well.