A monarch way station can easily be created or integrated within an existing garden. No minimum amount of space is required, but 100 square feet is recommended. According to www.MonarchWatch.org, it must include the following features:
• At least six hours of sun each day.
• Low-clay soils and good drainage for milkweed and nectar plants.
• Plants that are close together but not crowded to provide monarchs in all life stages shelter from predators and the elements.
• More than 10 plants of one milkweed species or, better yet, at least 10 milkweed plants of two or more species (different species mature and flower at different times, so including multiple species gives the butterflies plant shelter for a longer period of time during the breeding season).
• At least four annual, biennial or perennial plants that provide and bloom sequentially or continuously during the seasons of monarch breeding and migration.
• A plan for caring for and managing the space, including mulching, thinning, fertilizing, amending the soil, removing dead stalks, watering, eliminating insecticide use and removing invasive plant species.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers