Monarchs need milkweed to feed on as larvae as well as plentiful nectar plants as adults to fuel their reproduction and migration. As interest in creating monarch habitat continues to grow, land managers and gardeners are looking for guidelines of what plants should be included to make the best habitats possible. Some guidelines exist regarding recommended species to plant for pollinators in general, and what species of milkweeds are recommended for monarchs, but monarch specific nectar plant recommendations for all regions are not readily available. In collaboration with NRCS and other MJV partners, the Xerces Society is developing regional nectar plants lists to provide a comprehensive, regional guide to plants that are highly attractive to monarchs, bloom at the times when monarchs need them, locally appropriate, commercially available, and hardy. Work has begun in partnership with NRCS and the Monarch Joint Venture to create 14 regionally specific lists of native nectar plants for monarchs for use by restoration practitioners, other land managers, gardeners and landscape professionals. These recommendations will be available by spring 2016, and will be available for anyone to use. Look for it on the MJV resources page!
The Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to support and coordinate efforts to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States.