My Monarch Butterfly Garden

Monday, January 1, 2018

Monarch butterflies are something that I never really considered until I was at the Milwaukee County Zoo with my family.

The Zoo has two very beautiful butterfly gardens full of flowers and native plants. While I was walking around with my girls, I noticed signs for the Monarch Waystation and the Monarch Habitat. I had never seen anything like that before, so I decided to do a little research. It turns out that the Monarch butterfly population has greatly diminished over the last decade. Milkweed and native grasses have been replaced with housing developments and urban sprawl. Monarchs need Milkweed to survive. 

I've included a nature craft activity, My Nature Press which goes with hand in hand with My Butterfly-sun catcher, which will require dried flowers. As for the finish-the-picture activity,
 'My [Monarch] Butterfly Garden', I am going to create a special thread in our Facebook group to showcase everyone's butterfly garden. Really think about the flora and fauna in your area and let that shine in the activity.

Treehouse S.T.E.A.M. -- Gardens / Bugs / Birds Classes

If your child received a Pocket Prairie Garden seed packet, here are instructions from The Ladybird Johnson Wildlife Center on how to go about starting your pocket prairie garden. The seed in this packet is for a 20 x 20 garden or 400 square feet. I'd start these seeds in early winter if you've completed your site preparation to ensure proper seed stratification.  

Site Prep: You'll need an area where weeds have been removed via solarization (recommended) ready to plant 6 weeks after OR herbicide application (recommended only if the weed/seed bank is high).  Soil will be ready to plant with seeds 5 days after application. Bloom times are from spring through fall and heights vary.  

The full list of species in your seed mix is as follows (seed weight varies): 

(A) = Annual (B) = Biennial (P) = Perennial 

Common Name | Botanical Name [link to plants information]

(P) Little Bluestem Grass

(P) Butterfly Milkweed

(P) Common Milkweed

(P) Swamp Milkweed

(P) Blazing Star

(P) Purple Coneflower

(P) Lance Leaved Coreopsis

(P) Black Eyed Susan

(P) Tall Verbena

(P) Autumn Sneezeweed

(P) Snapdragon

(P) Wild Bergamont

(P) Obedient Plant

(P) Royal Catchfly

(P) Cardinal Flower

(P) Indian Blanket Flower

(P) Purple Prairie Clover

(P) Eastern Smooth Beardtongue

(P) Partridge Pea

(P) Mexican Hat

(P) Grey-headed Coneflower

(P) Stiff Goldenrod

(P) Grey Goldenrod

(P) New England Aster

(P) California Poppy

(P) Red Corn Poppy

(B) Purple Phacelia

(B) Parsley

(B) Siberian Wallflower

(B) Sweet William

(B) Common Evening Primrose

(A) Sunflower - Evening Sun Mixed Colors

(A) Baby Blue Eyes

(A) Linaria Fairy Bouquet

(A) Calendula Fancy Mix

(A) Mexican Lupine

(A) Mexican Sunflower

(A) Cosmos

(A) Balsam

(A) Sulphur Cosmos

(A) Borage

(A) Bachelor's Button

(A) Pincushion Flower

(A) Sweet Sultan

(A) Crimson Clover

(A) China Aster

(A) Dill

(A) Rocky Mtn. Bee Plant

(A) Lemon Mint

(A) Bishop's Flower

(A) Sweet Alyssum

To download project sheets and print at home: Right-click the image, download as a JPEG and save to your desktop. Please note that most printers are not borderless, so you might have to cut around the edge to remove that annoying white border. So, print out your project/parent sheets and get outside!

Link: My Monarch Butterfly Garden PDF

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We would love to know how it went!

The Treehouse Family

Link to PDF: Glossary of Terms

1 comment

  1. This is awesome. Can't wait to share this with my kiddos. I have taken the 2 day course with Monarch Teachers Network, and this is perfect.


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