Monarchs and Milkweed

Let’s talk a little about our state insect the monarch butterfly and it’s host plant milkweed. Migrating monarchs won’t be laying eggs on the plants this fall, but they will need milkweed to lay their eggs on for their journey north next spring.

Why is it so important? 

Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed. A female Monarch won’t lay her eggs on any other plant. The plants that caterpillars munch on are called host plants. Different butterflies have different host plants. For instance Gulf Fritillaries host on species of Passiflora, or passionvine. 

Did you know there are more than 100 known species of milkweed? Some of them will grow right here in North Texas!

Antelope Horns Milkweed is a common milkweed found in Texas. In the Dallas area, it can be found growing alongside roads and in open pastures.

One that you may not have seen before, Asclepias Texana, or Texas Milkweed, prefers dry, sandy soil.

But if there is no milkweed, Monarchs won’t be able to produce the next generation. By planting milkweed in your garden, you can help sustain monarch populations! Learn more about gardening for monarchs and other butterflies using our Gardening Tips

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Texas Discovery Gardens