How to Attract and Grow the Monarch Butterfly Population

Seeing the monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico and Southern California is a treat that we get to enjoy each year. These pollinators can’t withstand the cold winters in our Mid Atlantic region, but they come here to lay their eggs each year. If you enjoy the monarch butterfly, you should definitely read the entirety of this post to learn more about them!

As of writing this, it is August 12, 2018, and I am just starting to see monarch butterflies appear in our area. We service 100+ lawns, and I have noticed that these butterflies can’t stay away from the customers who plant milkweed. It is easy to lose track of time as you watch their wings flutter around and they dance from flower to flower.

Attracting Monarch Butterflies

Luring monarchs onto your property is fairly easy. Try planting milkweed in your gardens. These butterflies only lay their eggs on the milkweed plant. When the eggs hatch, they feed on the plant. The milkweed contains a toxin that makes the monarch butterflies poisonous for predators to eat. Milkweed is also responsible for the orange and black coloration.  Without milkweed, monarchs would not be able to reproduce.

By planting milkweed you are doing more than just attracting butterflies. You are also helping the monarch population grow. Scientists estimate that their population has decreased around 90% in the last 2 decades! Some other plants that attract them include Butterfly Bush, Coneflowers, and Asclepias.

Exploring Maryland’s Native Flora: Goldenstar, a Native Garden Groundcover

Common name: Goldenstar Botanical name (genus and species): Chrysogonum virginianum Plant family: Asteraceae Plant Description Plant size: 6 to 12 inches tall Plant Life cycle: Perennial Foliage color: Green Plant Type: Semi-evergreen Bloom color: Yellow Bloom time:...

Exploring Maryland’s Native Flora: The Evergreen Verdure of Christmas Fern

Common name: Christmas Fern Botanical name (genus and species): Polystichum acrostichoides Plant family: Dryopteridaceae Plant Description Plant size: 1 to 2 feet Plant life cycle: Perennial Foliage color: Evergreen, vibrant green Plant type: Evergreen Bloom color:...

Exploring Maryland’s Native Flora: Virginia Bluebells, A symbol of Winter’s Thaw and Spring’s Arrival

Name and Classification Common name: Virginia Bluebell Botanical name: Mertensia virginica Plant family: Boraginaceae Plant Description Plant size: 2 to 3 feet Plant life cycle: Perennial Foliage color: Green Plant type: Herbaceous Bloom color: Violet-blue to lavender...

Exploring Maryland’s Native Flora: The Majestic Iris Versicolor

Name and Classification Common name: Blue Flag Iris Botanical name (genus and species): Iris versicolor Plant family: Iridaceae Plant Description Plant size: 2 to 3 feet Plant life cycle: Perennial Foliage color: Green Plant type: Herbaceous Bloom color: Violet-blue...

Exploring Maryland’s Native Flora: Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Name and Classification Common name: Bloodroot Botanical name (genus and species): Sanguinaria canadensis Plant family: Papaveraceae Plant Description Plant size: 6-12 inches in height Plant life cycle: Perennial Foliage color: Green, with distinctive lobed leaves...

Exploring Maryland’s Native Flora: First to Bloom After Winter’s Thaw, Hepatica nobilis

Name and Classification Common name: Hepatica (many others) Botanical name (genus and species): Hepatica nobilis Plant family: Ranunculaceae Plant Description Plant size: 3-7 inches in height Plant Life cycle: Perennial Foliage color: Dark Green, with lobed leaves...

3 Practices for a Healthy Lawn

3 Practices for a Healthy Lawn In the world of turf grass management, there are different levels of care.  Maintaining a putting green requires far more inputs than maintaining a highway median.  Caring for a residential lawn falls somewhere in between the two.  I am...

6 Tips to Create a Low Maintenance Garden

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What are the Best Pruners

Personal Experience As the first installment in my low maintenance gardening series, I want to touch on pruners. In my original post, I described the importance of buying quality tools.  For the longest time, I would buy Fiskars brand from Home Depot.   The blades...

3 Step Daffodil Care and Maintenance

Daffodils are one of Spring's first flowers to bloom. They bring a burst of life and color to desolate winter flowerbeds. If you have daffodils in your garden, you should follow these simple steps to get the best blooms for years to come. Deadhead daffodils Tie green...

Everything you need to know about crabgrass this summer

Crabgrass Info Crabgrass is a common nuisance in lawns across the country. A lot of homeowners battle this grassy weed each year. Before you take action, you should correctly identify the pest. A lot of our customers think they have crabgrass, but they actually have a...

Should I Use a Post-emergent or Pre-emergent Herbicide?

"Post-emergent" and "pre-emergent" are terms used on my blog, and many other lawn and gardening blogs. To clear things up, here is the difference. Post-emergent herbicides work AFTER (post) the emergence of weeds. If you have weeds that are already growing in your...

What does Integrate Pest Management Mean for Green Thumb?

“Integrated pest management” (IPM) is probably a new term for most homeowners. It’s a relatively new term to landscapers and the lawn care industry, too. Heavy research on the topic began around the 1970’s. If you are interested in the history of pest control Penn...

Pruning: How to remove a tree limb

To some, pruning a tree limb seems easy, and almost silly that there is a right and wrong way to do it. However, I want to let you know that there is a right and wrong way, but the right way isn't hard! Most people when removing a limb with a pruning saw only make one...

Caring for Hosta

Hostas make a magnificent addition to any flowerbed. They have amazing foliage that ranges from light chartreuse to deep blue hues. Some hosta varieties remain small while others, like the Empress Wu variety, can get as large as 4 feet tall! Different varieties and...

Raising Mowing Heights During Summer

Most people set their lawn mower height after purchasing their lawn mower, then they never touch it again. There's nothing wrong with that. But, since our goal is to educate our customers and provide the highest quality of service, let me show you why "set it and...