Monarch Butterfly nectaring on Georgia Aster.

by Tanner Biggers

One of the many reasons

to plant native plants is to witness nature perform its miraculous work. Chances are, if you buy a milkweed plant from us within the next 30 days, you may be likely to find a Monarch caterpillar or two munching away at it. We take pride in hosting over 100 Monarch caterpillars this year, with the hope that they will grow up to become majestic pollinator powerhouses.

Recently we have just spotted some caterpillars who are starting to form their chrysalis right on the Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is one of the most recognizable butterfly species in North Americaa. Famously, it has one of the longest migration patterns of any animal (flying approximately 3000 miles round-trip each year).

3 Monarch caterpillars on the same plant
Monarch caterpillar at Beech Hollow Scottdale

Since 1996, the increasing agricultural use of the herbicide glyphosate on fields has eliminated milkweed from much of the Monarch migration route.  The elimination of larval host plants may be a contributing factor to the Monarch butterfly’s 59% decline in its historical range.  As of December 15, 2020, Danaus plexippus is under consideration for Federally Threatened/Endangered status.

All of Beech Hollow’s plants are grown using organic practices so that pollinator champions like these can thrive. It is a major part of our mission to help support Georgia's exceptionally diverse ecosystems and native species such as the Monarch.  If you'd like to learn more about Monarch butterflies, their lifecycle, and the outstanding variety of milkweeds native to Georgia,

check out these resources on Monarch's and milkweeds below: an article from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a free publication from the Georgia State Botanical Gardens, and a blog post from the National Wildlife Federation.

Please support your native pollinators!

U.S. FWS article:

NWF blog post:

Monarch chrysalis at Beech Hollow Scottdale