Growing a Monarch Waystation is a fantastic experience for gardeners of all ages. Monarchs are rock stars of the eco-gardening movement for a good reason: They’re beautiful and amazing creatures.
Every year, Monarchs born in the late summer embark on a phenomenal 2,000- to 3,000-mile voyage to the mountains of Mexico. North American Monarchs are the only non-bird species to make a round-trip migratory flight, and how they know the particular route is still a mystery.
Monarch populations have declined over 80% during the last several decades due to habitat loss. The good news is that there is a solution: As humans responsible for the destruction of this natural phenomenon, we also have the power to reverse it.
Plant a Monarch Waystation
Monarchs need two things:
- Milkweed (Asclepias) plants to raise their young
- A variety of nectar sources throughout the summer and fall to fuel adult Monarchs’ migration to Mexico.
There is no minimum size for a Waystation, but a truly effective one should be at least 100 square feet. Starting small is better than not starting at all.
When you do plant your garden, keep the plants spaced close together, remove any nearby invasive species, and eliminate insecticide use. Read more about certifying your Monarch Waystation here.
Monarch Waystation Kit
This kit features our favorite Monarch host plant for the garden, Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), along with three beautiful nectar sources and a native grass that provides structure.
- Thrives in full sun with average soil
- Easy to grow (no green thumb required!)
- Beautiful blooms throughout the growing season
- Includes 25 plants to fill a 25-square-foot bed (5′ x 5′)
- 5 carefully selected native species
- Includes a sample garden layout
Each plant comes as a landscape plug, about 2 inches across and 5 deep. These small starter plants are an affordable way to establish a garden from scratch at a fraction of the cost of buying full-sized plants.
Delivery or Pickup:
Free delivery to Collingswood, Haddon Township, Audubon, Oaklyn, Camden, Merchantville, or Haddonfield. Other orders can be picked up in Collingswood by appointment.
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Plants Featured in This Kit:
Swamp Milkweed – Asclepias incarnata
Height: 3-5 feet
Like all milkweeds, swamp milkweed serves as a host for monarch butterflies. Only members of the Asclepias genus are suitable for monarchs to lay their eggs on. Swamp milkweed is not an aggressive spreader like Common milkweed.
Blazing Star – Liatris spicata
Height: 2-4 feet
This is a classic meadow and prairie flower. Frequently visited by butterflies and other pollinators in the summer, blazing star thrives in a wide variety of soils but does love a lot of sun.
Narrowleaf Ironweed – Vernonia lettermanii ‘Iron Butterfly’
Height: 2-3 feet
A major pollinator magnet, this ironweed thrives in sunny sites with average soil. The attractive, delicate foliage will explode in purple flowers in late summer.
Anise-scented Goldenrod – Solidago odora
Height: 2-4 feet
Sprays of bright yellow flowers lasting well into the fall provide nectar and seed for butterflies and birds, respectively. This species is not aggressive like other goldenrods, and contrary to popular belief, goldenrods do not trigger allergies.
Shenandoah Switchgrass – Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’
Height: 2-4 feet
A warm season perennial grass that can handle a wide range of conditions, this is a shorter cultivar of switchgrass with reddish tints in the fall. Provides structure for your butterfly garden – we recommend using it as a matrix from which the other plants can emerge.