Monarchs & Milkweed

Do you like Monarch Butterflies?  Did you know they need milkweed to sustain them in their caterpillar stage?

Check out our Newsletter article on raising Monarchs and a recently posted webinar video, Meet the Monarchs.

If you are interested in getting on our limited Monarch email list, please write to Ted Kuklinski, with the subject line “monarch”.


Helpful monarch related websites include:


Meet the Monarchs – Newton Conservators Webinar on Raising Monarchs

The Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly – Nashua River Watershed Association

A Monarch is Born – One minute tour of monarch lifecycle

Want to Plant Milkweed?    Did you know?

  • You can help save the Monarchs by Planting Milkweed!
  • Female Monarch Butterflies only lay eggs on Monarch Plants!
  • Monarch Caterpillars only eat Milkweed Plants!
  • You should plant native Milkweed types for this region of the country.
  • New England hosts mainly
    • Common Milkweed
    • Swamp Milkweed
    • Butterfly Weed.
  • Milkweed seeds need to endure cold over the winter!
  • To Plant Milkweed seeds this Fall:
    • Find a spot with some sun
    • Scratch the ground
    • Poke a hole about a knuckle deep with a pencil or finger.
    • Drop in a seed.
    • Brush some dirt over it
    • Watch for plants next June!
  • To Plant Milkweed seeds in the spring:
    • Cold treat seeds over the winter
    • Put in the freezer or perhaps protected outside
    • Start in a peat pot inside and keep slightly moist in a sunny spot
    • Plant outside after danger of frost.
  • Check out more detailed info below :
  • Monarch Joint Venture ( recommends the following:Milkweed seed can be planted directly in soil, or started indoors. You can sow milkweed seeds by scattering them on the soil surface 1/4-1/2 inch apart, and then cover them with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. Water the area frequently after planting until plants become established. Many species need to be vernalized (cold treated) before planting. Vernalized seeds can be planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. Non-vernalized seeds can be planted in the fall, and nature will provide the cold treatment.See Monarch Watch’s milkweed propagation guide for further recommendations, information on vernalization and instructions for starting milkweed seeds indoors.

    For further details on milkweed growing and conservation use, visit the Xerces Society’s Milkweed Practicitoner Guide, which is a complete guide to milkweeds, including biology/ecology, propagation, benefits to wildlife, and use in restoration projects.  
    (Note: this is a 105 page scientific treatise with everything there is to know about Milkweed!)

    See also


Monarch on Swamp Milkweed in Newton