Make Your Garden Count For Butterflies

(NAPSI)­—In this season of social distancing, many Americans are turning to gardening, finding joy and peace in an outdoor activity that can be safely enjoyed from home. “What all gardeners know, and the rest of you may discover, is that if you have even the smallest space, a pot on a window ledge, a front step, a wee yard, there is no balm to the soul greater than planting seeds,” recently wrote Charlotte Mendelsen for The New Yorker. If you haven’t gotten your hands a little dirty yet, now could be the time.

More Milkweed for Monarchs

This spring, you can help feed both your soul and butterflies across the country by planting monarch habitat, including milkweed and other flowers that provide nectar. Milkweed in particular provides an essential source of food and is the only place monarch butterflies will lay their eggs.

Supporting monarchs is critical, as they face many health challenges including climate change, drought and habitat loss. However, anyone can help by planting milkweed and other brightly colored, pollinator-attractant flowers in the garden or even on the balcony.

There are 12 states that monarchs tend to visit during their annual migration. Those who live there can do their part by planting milkweed and recording their efforts in the HabiTally app. These states are:

• Illinois

• Indiana 

• Iowa

• Kansas

• Michigan

• Minnesota

• Missouri 

• Nebraska 

• Oklahoma 

• Ohio

• Texas

• Wisconsin

Until May 31, any monarch habitat planted in these states and recorded in the app will be taken into consideration by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as it evaluates recommending that monarchs join the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. With the help of your conservation efforts, monarch health may become secure enough to not need this designation.

Other Flowers That Butterflies Love 

For people who don’t live in one of those 12 states, there are many other flowers they can plant to support butterflies, bees and other pollinators’ health while adding beauty to the garden with bright, happy blooms. These 10 plants attract butterflies and make vibrant, fragrant additions to any garden:

• Sunflowers

• Lavender

• Asters

• Coneflowers

• Black-eyed Susans

• Verbena

• Catnip

• Rosemary

• Sage

• Salvia

Whether you already find solace in gardening or are looking for a new hobby, you can help make a difference. So, plant a few flowers to see what gardening can do for you—and for butterflies—this spring. 

Learn More 

Because monarch butterflies are an important pollinating insect that contribute to both agriculture and biodiversity, the Bayer Bee Care Program is committed to supporting their health, as well the health of other pollinators. You can download the free HabiTally app and get started by visiting the Apple App Store. To be sure you’re planting flowers that are best adapted to your region, visit www.Pollinator.org.

 
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