Monarch butterflies are departing from their locations in Mexico for their long journey north. Read about it at Journey North. Also click on the migration map on the right to see where they are now.
Prepare for their arrival!
Many MEI members planted seeds late last fall that will begin growing as soon as spring conditions are right. Others are or have started milkweed seeds indoors, in addition to other flowers that monarchs use for nectar. Some are using seeds they collected last fall, and others are ordering seeds.
It is important to order seeds and plants that are from Iowa, or at least are native to your ecoregion. Find your ecoregion from The Habitat Network pages by plugging in your zip code. You can then see your ecoregion and scroll down the page for more resources. See our Seed & Plant Sources page for suggestions on where to order. Also check our calendar (tabs above) for upcoming plant sales.
Here is an excellent brochure from Wildones.org with lists of flowers, shrubs and trees that benefit Monarchs.
Start a Monarch Waystation on your property. Order a kit from Monarch Watch and be certified as a Waystation. See details at Monarch Watch.
If you look for milkweed plants or plugs at local nurseries, make sure they are "clean" and are neonicotinoid free. Also make sure they are native to your area. Here is a list of milkweed native to Iowa.
While you're at it, plan to eliminate spraying your lawns and flowers with insecticides and herbicides. Those dandelions and other spring "weeds" provide an early source of nectar for butterflies and bees. Sprays are real killers to our Monarchs as well as to essential honey bees and native bees. Be kind to all pollinators!