Grow milkweed this summer

22 Feb 2014 11:49 PM | Anonymous
The Monmonarch butterflyarch Butterfly population has plummeted in the last decade. I heard recently it's numbers are estimated to be a mere 10% of the Monarch population in 2006.

Habitat loss is thought to be the factor contributing to this population crash. The complexity of changes across huge geographical areas that cover the migratory life cycle of creatures such as the Monarch only add to the perplexity of the problem.

However for us who share the summertime environment with the Monarchs the loss of habitat is more specifically the disappearance of milkweed. The female Monarchs lay their eggs on these plants and the young hatch and eat their way through the caterpillar stage while eating exclusively on milkweed.

Unfortunately this plant is disappearing do to changes in agricultural that favours GMO crops and herbicide use that eliminates all competing plants including milkweed.

What can be done? Consider growing milkweed in your garden, if you aren't already. If you have lots of space grow lots. This is the only plant the young Monarchs eat.

Gardens Manitoba members have worked so hard contributing to a shared vision of a butterfly conservatory in Winnipeg. Plan to introduce some milkweed into soil you tend, and encourage other gardeners to do the same. And if you do, enjoy your Monarch sightings in 2014.

Comments

  • 26 Feb 2014 3:30 PM | Anonymous
    Already have many plants surrounding my waterfall and pond. By the way, once the wings have dried, the Monarch simply adores the purple Liatris perennial.
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