Common Monarch Flower (Asclepias syriaca)
Monarch butterflies are in drastic decline and habitat loss is the number one cause. Read more about the Monarch Decline by clicking here.
Monarch flowers (Asclepias spp.) are the only plants upon which monarch butterflies will lay their eggs. Help the monarch butterfly rebound by growing common monarch in your garden!
An easy to grow, drought tolerant perennial with large, rounded clusters of purplish/pink flowers, the common monarch flower is the perfect complement to your landscape. Aside from attracting monarch butterflies for egg-laying, the common monarch flower entices swallowtails, fritillaries, painted ladies, and red admirals for nectaring. The common monarch flower is famous for its “silky seeds” in fall, when the drying cone-shaped seedpods crack open and their snow-white shiny fluff fly around the meadow (the dispersal mechanism for the large shiny seeds).
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Prepare the Seeds
To ensure the best germination rates, common monarch flower seeds should be vernalized (cold treated). This means that the seeds should be planted directly in the ground during the Fall and Winter so that Mother Nature can break the seed’s dormancy. The seed will germinate the following Spring.
If you purchase the seeds in the Spring or Summer, subject the seeds to a cold/moist environment for a short period of time to simulate the conditions of a seed’s natural break of dormancy that occurs when the seeds spend the winter in the ground. For best results in doing this, moisten peat with water, mix the peat with the seeds, and store the mixture in a dark place (a refrigerator crisper works well) with a temperature of approximately 5°C for a minimum of 3 weeks up to 3 months. Then, plant the seeds outside.
Monarch flowers are essential for monarchs to reproduce. With the disappearance of the monarch flowers, so will go the monarch butterflies.
Help the butterflies – Rip out a few square feet of lawn and grow monarch flower.