Planting Milkweed for Earth Day

April 22, 2022

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) with tattered wings feeding on Honeycomb Butterfly Bush on a autumn late afternoon in a backyard butterfly garden in Hampton, Virginia.
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) with tattered wings feeding on Honeycomb Butterfly Bush on a autumn late afternoon in a backyard butterfly garden in Hampton, Virginia.

Today is Earth Day! For Earth Day, I planted some new swamp milkweed plants in my backyard butterfly garden to provide food for the monarch butterfly. In addition, I planted common milkweed seedlings that I had grown in starter pots in late winter. This year, I am trying my hand at growing my own milkweed from seeds for the monarchs. So far, I have about a dozen milkweeds plants that have sprouted.

Backyard butterfly garden on a spring evening of Lori A Cash's home in Hampton, Virginia.
Backyard butterfly garden on a spring evening of Lori A Cash’s home in Hampton, Virginia.

Milkweed is the only source of food for the monarch caterpillars. Without milkweed as a food source, the monarch larva would not be able to evolve into a butterfly. The monarch caterpillars exclusively feed on the milkweed leaves. Monarch butterflies use a variety of milkweeds such as common milkweed, butterfly weed and swamp milkweed. The common milkweed is the earlier bloomer, followed by the butterfly weed and then the swamp milkweed. It is important to plant a variety of these milkweed plants in your butterfly garden to provide an adequate food source for monarchs from spring to fall migration. Planting milkweed is a great way to save the monarch butterflies on this Earth Day!

This weekend I will be planting my seedling milkweed plants into some bigger pots and purchasing some milkweed and butterfly weed plants at a local native plant sale. It is always good to have that variety of milkweed for the monarchs.

Certifications for My Backyard Butterfly Garden

Recently, I have received certifications from the North American Butterfly Association for my backyard butterfly garden as a Certified Monarch Butterfly Garden and as a Certified Butterfly Garden. Currently, I am awaiting certification for my backyard butterfly garden to be certified as a Monarch Way Station.

Certified Monarch Garden and Certified Butterfly Garden signs displayed in Lori A Cash's backyard butterfly garden in Hampton, Virginia.
Certified Monarch Garden and Certified Butterfly Garden signs displayed in Lori A Cash’s backyard butterfly garden in Hampton, Virginia. Theses certifications were given by the North American Butterfly Association.

My Conservation Photography: Butterfly Habitat Oasis Project

This year, I will be reporting my monarch sightings in my backyard butterfly garden to Journey North. Of course, this is all part of my conservation photography project called Butterfly Habitat Oasis Project. Look for lots of butterfly images this summer.

Monarch caterpillar feeding on milkweed on a late summer evening in Hampton, Virginia.
Monarch caterpillar feeding on milkweed on a late summer evening in Lori’s backyard butterfly garden in Hampton, Virginia.

Check out my ongoing butterfly conservation photography project called Butterfly Habitat Oasis Project.

Thank you for reading my Field Notes Blog, and I hope you will share this post with others.

Let’s protect our wildlife and nature!

All the very best,

Lori

Copyright © 2022 Lori A Cash

2 replies to “Planting Milkweed for Earth Day

  1. Awesome post! Love the garden and your efforts! Congrats on the certifications and making a difference!

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