Why is milkweed so important?
Milkweed plants (family Asclepiadaceae) are the only food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars. However, milkweed has severely declined in North America due to drastic changes in land use and management. Agricultural practices and housing developments have led to the loss of existing milkweed and the land for it to reseed and grow on. Milkweed losses and other stressors are associated with declines in migratory monarch butterflies over the past 20 years. To compensate for the loss of milkweed, gardeners across North America are helping monarchs by planting milkweeds, and by keeping milkweeds safe from pesticides. Native varieties are especially important and difficult to grow, making them hard to find at local nurseries.
Our work program hopes to change that. Over 10 years of research and trials have allowed us to develop a system for reliable germination and growth that will make native milkweed more accessible and available. Until our program is up and running, native milkweed plants can be purchased at:
6420 FM 359 Richmond, TX. 77406