Spring is an extremely important time for monarch butterflies. The overwintering populations will soon head north to lay the first monarch eggs of the season. These butterflies need new milkweed to feed monarch caterpillars, and nectar flowers to inspire weary females to lay the groundwork (eggs) for future generations.
Many butterfly gardeners prefer summer plants that are in their prime during the height of monarch season. But to ensure there is a “height” to the season, it’s important to provide the returning ‘migration generation’ the breakfast it needs for a productive season.
Here are 5 spring butterfly plants to consider for your garden if you want to help returning monarch butterflies get off to a flying start:
1. Spider Milkweed (Asclepias viridis)- This early milkweed variety is a shorter species that would make a great garden border for either taller milkweeds plants or nectar flowers.
- Perennial most common in USDA plant hardiness zones 5-9
- Essential milkweed for monarch butterfies returning north from Mexico
- Height 1 to 2.5 feet
- Bloom time May- July
- Purple and green blooms also attract other pollinators like the Hairstreak above
- Plant in full sun – drought tolerant
- Find Asclepias viridis seeds and plants by clicking here
More Photos and Info about Spider Milkweed Here
2. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)- A low maintenance plant with fragrant purple flowers that can also be used to impart a more ‘subtle’ onion flavor into your culinary creations.