The annual migration of monarch butterflies occurs each year in the fall. No one knows for sure how millions of monarchs instinctively know when to depart and where to go. But it seems to be triggered by the autumn equinox and related to the Earth’s magnetic field.
Butterflies are important contributors to the world’s ecosystem. In fact, they not only pollinate flowers, but serve as a food source for birds, small animals, and other insects.
The epic migration of monarchs is one reason they are so essential to the environment. These resilient insects travel all the way from Canada to Mexico across the United States each year, pollinating plants the entire way. They spend their winter hibernation in Mexico or Southern California.+
How You Can Help
Due to the extreme flooding in our area caused by Harvey, many pollinator habitats were destroyed.
As monarchs migrate, they need water, ample nectar sources, trees or other protection at night for roosting, and connected habitats. Studies have shown that monarch numbers decline significantly as they get closer to their destination in Mexico. Since Texas is in the last leg of their route, it’s even more important we provide them with nourishment to survive. We have a unique opportunity to help these unrecognized victims of the storm fuel up with nectar as they continue on their journey.
Milkweed is a popular talking point for a lot of monarch enthusiasts and for good reason. Monarch caterpillars ONLY eat milkweed. It’s true that monarchs cannot survive without it. However, they are not reproducing right now and instead need energy for their enormous trip. To learn more about creating an official monarch waystation, visit www.monarchwatch.org.
To catch a glimpse of these beautiful pollinators, you can plant flowers now to attract them to your yard.
Warren’s has an excellent selection of pentas, kolachoe, coneflowers, and more in stock now. We even have some great combinations of these pollinator plants grouped together in ready-to-go containers. Stop by the Garden Center so we can help you select the best plants for your yard and these special creatures.