ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bring Back The Monarch Butterflies By Planting Milkweed In Your Garden.

Updated on September 6, 2014

I love all butterfies, but the Monarch is my favorite. I am doing my part to keep them as part of our environment.

I grow Milkweed in my yard to give these butterflies a place to lay their eggs. Anyone can do this.

I hope after reading this article, you will join me and many others in helping to preserve the Monarch butterfly.

Monarchs Migrate To Central Mexico

Every year, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies – each so light that 50 together weigh barely an ounce – find their way on what may be the world’s longest insect migration, travelling the length of North America to pass the winter in central Mexico.

Some of these trees are literally covered with Monarchs! Can you imagine hearing all those delicate wings fluttering at once? That is a sight I would love to see!

This photo shows millions of Monarchs in a tree in central Mexico.

Monarchs overwintering Angangueo site in Mexico


Monarch Butterflies Are In Danger!

The Monarchs are in danger. The Monarchs feed on a plant called Milkweed. Milkweed is a broad-leafed plant. The Monarchs need this plant to feed on and to lay their eggs. They cannot survive without this plant. Because of widespread use of herbicides used on farms and along highways to kill the weeds, Milkweed is being killed off.

Monarchs can’t survive without milkweed. Female monarchs lay eggs on milkweed. When they hatch, the larvae grow into caterpillars that feed on the milkweed’s leaves. Those leaves contain a poison that inoculates the monarchs from their predators. The caterpillars then form chrysalises and emerge as butterflies.

Spraying Crops Has Killed Off The Milkweed

The advent of genetically modified corn and soybean varieties that can withstand herbicides has added to the demise of the Monarch. Now farmers employ glyphosate herbicides that kill weeds with a vengeance. It’s had a huge impact on milkweed. Before all this spraying began Milkweed could grow among crops or at the edges of fields.

Crops can survive this spraying, but Milkweed cannot survive.

Most monarchs live only a little more than a month. But one generation each year lives seven or eight months, long enough to migrate to central Mexico before winter sets in, where the butterflies settle into a semi-dormant state, often clustering around the same trees as their forebears, perhaps drawn by chemical cues.

In the spring, the monarchs return to the north, where they lay eggs on milkweed, giving way to a new generation.

I Urge People To Plant Milkweed

People should be encouraged to plant Milkweed to serve as a stopping place for the butterflies as they migrate.

Our local, state and federal governments need to be urged to allow the Milkweed to grow undisturbed along highways instead of mowing it down, or worse: using herbicide on the weeds.

Buy Milkweed Plants Or Seed

You can purchase Milkweed plants or buy the seeds. The seeds come up rapidly and will produce many plants.

The Four Stages Of The Butterfly

In order to understand how this miracle of nature works, one should have a basic knowledge of the cycle of the Butterfly.

In the first stage, a mature butterfly lays her tiny, sticky egg on the leaf of a plant. The egg is sticky so it can’t fall off the leaf. If you can imagine, the egg is the size of the head of a straight pin . This egg will soon become a caterpillar. It is hard to imagine this green caterpillar with it’s brightly marked, bold pattern will soon become a butterfly! Some of these caterpillars can be up to six inches long. Not all caterpillars are butterfly larvae.

The Four Stages Are:



Cocoon (Pupa)

Finally, the Butterfly emerges

My Method of Hatching Monarch Butterflies

This is the method I have used to study the Monarch butterfly:

  1. Use a stick and carefully remove a caterpillar from the plant.
  2. Place the caterpillar it in a glass jar that you have made holes in the top for air.
  3. Place some leaves of the same plant the caterpillar came from in the jar.
  4. Add a few drops of water.
  5. Every day, place fresh leaves and more water inside the jar.
  6. You will be able to observe the caterpillar weaving it’s delicate cocoon.
  7. Soon you will notice movement within the cocoon.
  8. In about two weeks, the butterfly will emerge from the cocoon.
  9. He has to have time to dry his wings.
  10. He is now ready to be released into the world!

This entire process usually takes two weeks, depending on the species of the Butterfly.

A Video Of A Monarch Emerging From The Chrysalis

Please take a minute and watch this video of a Monarch emerging from the Chrysalis. Listen to the to excitement of the children as they watch this miracle.

The Milkweed Plant


Eggs From The Monarch And Some Caterpillars


A Monarch Cocoon Hanging From The Plant


A Monarch Has Emerged And Is Resting On The Milkweed Plant


A Cocoon Is Placed Inside A Jar


This Monarch Has Emerged And Is Drying His Wings On My Blue Orchid


The Monarch Soon Flew Onto Another Plant


Would you be interested in helping to preserve the beautiful Monarch?

See results

Preservng The Monarch Is A Wonderful Project For Children

This is such a wonderful project to share with children. After taking my four children to a Butterfly Garden once, they wanted to know more about Butterflies.

They went to the library and got books on Butterflies and studied them.

Now, after being involved in this project, they have a complete understanding of the wonderful world of Butterflies.

It was very exciting to see this Monarch drying his wings on my Blue Orchid plant.

The experience of hatching out Monarch butterflies is very rewarding. I would encourage readers to go to your local plant nursery and buy some milkweed plants. If you cannot find them locally, they can be ordered from online plant nurseries.

It is very exciting and rewarding to see a fully developed beautiful Monarch butterfly released because of our action to save them.

Oh, and did you know: the Butterfly is classified as an INSECT??


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)