Salvia Small Talk: Flowers by the Sea Is Monarch Waystation 7671
Flowers by the Sea recently received classification as a certified Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch, an organization focused on saving the threatened Monarch species (Danaus plexippus). We're waystation 7671. With your help, we can make the number of waystations increase so that Monarchs start making a comeback from their precipitous decline of recent years.
We created our own waystation by growing lots of colorful milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) and other butterfly favorites amid our Salvia gardens. Although we can't feed all of North America's endangered Monarchs, we can help you to create waystation gardens abundant with milkweeds -- the single type of host plants on which Monarchs will lay their eggs -- and nectar-rich Salvias for adult butterflies.
FBTS sells well-established milkweed plants; seed kits are available from Monarch Watch.
Butterflies need nectar and pollen to fill their tiny tanks for migration. They also need nurseries -- known as host plants -- for their caterpillar babies. Monarch caterpillars only eat Milkweed foliage and can't survive without it.
Waystations are needed throughout North America, but are particularly crucial in Great Plains and Midwestern gardens, which are within the main migratory route for Monarchs.
The list of Waystation Requirements says there is no minimum garden size for creating a waystation, but that 100 square feet is a good starting size, and it is best to include a minimum of 10 milkweed plants of at least two species as well as butterfly nectar plants.
Habitat loss is a major problem leading to Monarch decreases. This is caused, in part, by increased development of farmlands and the use of pesticides -- especially glyphosate -- which kill milkweeds growing wild among crops. Here is an excellent article from The New York Times explaining the complexities of the Monarch threat.
Please write or call if you have any questions about growing milkweeds or developing a wildlife garden.