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More Magnificent Monarchs

August 20, 2021

By: Christie Brodie, Interpretation Projects Coordinator, Royal Botanical Gardens

The highly recognizable and charismatic Monarch butterfly is a beloved garden guest. To help celebrate National Flight of the Monarch Day (August 21), we wanted to highlight some of the things we love about Monarch butterflies and share some resources for you to see how you can help support this species-at-risk insect.

Monarch butterfly on Garden Interpreter Brittnie
Our Garden Interpreter Brittnie enjoyed the tickle of a Monarch on her nose before it flew away to explore the gardens.

Our in-house Monarch expert, Karin Davidson-Taylor, shares her favourite 6 Plants for Attracting and Feeding Monarchs at RBG. Want to know more plants that are important for Monarchs? Check out our blog, Planting for Monarchs. Here we share the various plants that Monarchs rely on throughout their life cycle to survive.

In our blog, Growing Milkweed in Ontario, Karin shares the variety of milkweed plants that we find here in Ontario. Monarch caterpillars will only eat milkweed plants, so the best way you can help Monarch butterfly populations is to plant milkweed.

Monarch on verbena in Rose Garden
A Monarch sips some nectar from the verbena growing in the Rose Garden in Hendrie Park.

If you want to help support all a variety of butterflies, watch our video Host Plants for Butterflies, where we highlight the plants that different species rely on.

Since our gardens and nature sanctuaries attract a wide variety of insects, we do an Annual Butterfly Count. Join our Terrestrial Ecologist Lindsay, along with citizen scientist volunteers, as they count as many butterflies as they can.

Have kids that are looking to share the Monarch love too? Here are some activity sheets to challenge their skills and maybe learn something new too!

identification activity with monarchs and Viceroy butterflies
Monarch Mimic
maze with monarch on one side and flowers on the other
Fall Flight of the Monarchs
Butterfly and Moth Antennae matching sheet
Butterfly and Moth Antennae

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