BUILD A MONARCH GARDEN - Friends of Blackwater Canyon

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. Over the
last few decades, populations of these iconic
orange and black butterflies have declined
by over 90 percent. Help Reverse this trend!
Who We Are
About Us
Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly
Insects change their form as they grow, a
process called metamorphosis. The
Monarch Butterfly starts life’s journey as
an egg and after 4 days hatches into a
caterpillar (larval stage). They remain in
a caterpillar stage for roughly 14 days
during which time they feed on Milkweed
leaves. The next stage known as the
pupal stage includes the production of
the camouflage Chrysalis for protection.
After 12-16 days they emerge from the
Chrysalis as a beautiful butterfly.
Friends of Blackwater is a non-profit
conservation organization working
effectively in the Mid-Atlantic Appalachian
Highlands with a mission to protect key
landscapes and watersheds, natural and
human communities, and to support
economic development that maximizes
biodiversity and outdoor recreational
opportunities for future generations.
Contact Us
Phone: 304-345-7663 ext. 5
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.
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Friends of Blackwater
501 Elizabeth Street
Charleston, WV 25311
Monarch and Larvae on Milkweed
Saving this Unique Migratory
Butterfly One Milkweed at a
4. Weed and Water weekly.
5. Take notes and photos often to document
your progress and be sure to share the
information with us. 
West Virginia’s State Insect - (male feeding on flower)
How To Start a
Monarch Garden:
1. Set a plot up that is in a sunny spot with
ample wind protection.
2.Have Host and Nectar plants readya. Common milkweed-(Asclepias syriaca L.)Northern, High Altitudes species.
b. Select at least one native nectar plants
form each category in order to allow for
staggered blooming.
I. Spring - lilacs, azaleas, violets, etc.
II. Spring/Summer-Clovers and garden
III. Warm Summer- Daisies, cone flowers,
milkweeds, butterfly weed, and
IV. Warm months into fall- ironweed,
native thistles, asters, goldenrods, bee
balm, butterfly bush, mints, cardinal
flowers, etc.
3. Because Milkweed can take up a large
space allow a foot from it and other plants.
How To Grow
Milkweed from
1. Soak your seeds in fresh rain water or
distilled water for up to 6 hours
2. Sow your seeds in growing trays or a large
a. Place in a warm and sunny spot to
germinate. They have long roots, make sure
you have adequate soil depth.
3. They will take roughly 14-24 days to
break soil.
4. Once sprouted keep moisture locked in for
3 weeks by covering tray or pot with plastic
5. After 3 weeks, transplant to larger
container or garden with quality soil
(compost etc.).
6. You can lightly fertilize using a regular
flower fertilizer after the seedling stage.
Milkweed Seedling
7. Once the plant reaches 8-12”, it is best to
cut off the top in order to create more stalk
and leaves for the Chrysalis to attach to.
8. It takes roughly 2 months before the plant
is large enough to be eaten. This is okay
because Monarchs arrive in WV late in the
FUNGICIDES, ETC. –these will harm the
Monarch butterfly during all phases of its life
cycle. Use natural pesticides like garlic or
neem oil only as a last resort.
Additional Information:
-Packets include- Northern Milkweed and various
West Virginia native plant seeds.
- If you have an area close to an acre or larger that
you would like to dedicate to Milkweed contact Nick
Millett with West Virginia field office of U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service at (304)-636-6586 ext. 17.