Why? 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. saveblackwater.org Like us on Facebook: Friends of Blackwater Friends of Blackwater 501 Elizabeth Street Charleston, WV 25311 Monarch and Larvae on Milkweed BUILD A MONARCH GARDEN Saving this Unique Migratory Butterfly One Milkweed at a Time! 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 vegetables. III. Warm Summer- Daisies, cone flowers, milkweeds, butterfly weed, and sunflowers. 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 Seed: 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 pot. 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 wrap. 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 summer. 9. DO NOT USE PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES, 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.
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