The monarch butterfly is known as the “Ambassador of the Americas” for its amazing multi-generational migration across Canada, the US, and Mexico. Texas plays two important roles: in the fall, millions of monarchs pass through Texas on their way to their overwintering habitat in Mexico, and in the spring, the returning butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed here to create the next generation. Successive generations expand the butterfly population up into Canada. Support the migration by planting milkweed and spring and fall nectar flowers!
You may see one or two monarch butterflies flying about. These are “pre-migrants,” and females are looking for milkweed to lay the last generation of butterflies this year- the migrating butterflies.
Monarch Migration Festival is Saturday, October 6 from 1-4pm at the Botanic Garden. Enjoy activities from the Fort Worth Pollinator Ambassadors, participate in monarch tagging, and kids can earn a pair of butterfly wings by completing a “migration” through the garden. Free.
The City Council-of Fort Worth has proclaimed October 6th to be Monarch Butterfly Day. To view the proclamation click Here.
Tips for a butterfly and pollinator garden
1. Choose a sunny location. Find a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun daily. Butterflies like to bask in the sun.
2. Consider plant layout. Tall flowers should go in back (for a round bed, in the middle), followed by medium plants, then short plants in front. Group like plants together for a greater color impact.
3. Create shelter. Place plants close together to protect butterflies from predators and adverse weather.
4. Offer nectar spring, summer and fall. Provide 4-6 flower types with sequential bloom.
5. Become a citizen scientist. Share your observations with iNaturalist, Monarch Watch and Journey North
Would your club or group enjoy a presentation about monarch butterflies?
Gail is the conservation officer at the Botanic Garden. She is an entomologist and has worked here twelve years and was previously at Texas Discovery Gardens in Dallas. She has been tagging monarch butterflies since 1994. Gail or one of her team of trained volunteers can talk to your class or organization about the monarch life cycle, migration, conservation or butterfly gardening.