Explore the nursery
Buchanan’s Native Plants has been serving Houston gardeners since 1986. Located in the historic Houston Heights, the garden center is dedicated to native plants and organic gardening. You will find the best selections of hardy natives as well as perennials, herbs, vegetables, trees, shrubs & roses — all suited to the Houston climate.
Make your garden a Waystation
Looking for more ways to help Monarchs outside of milkweed? Make your garden a Monarch Waystation!
Monarch Waystations are gardens that provide all the resources a monarch needs to sustain their migration. Monarchs need both their host plant, milkweed, and nectar plants. Host plants allow monarchs to lay eggs to breed more butterflies while nectar plants give them the energy they need to make the long journey to their final migration point. Think of your Waystation as a rest stop for a weary traveler!
So what do you need to have a Waystation? Here are the guidelines from MonarchWatch.org:
A suitable Monarch Waystation habitat can be easily integrated into an existing garden. There is no mimimum area requirement in order to certify your habitat; however, a truly effective Monarch Waystation will be at least 100 square feet. The total area may be split among several discrete sites at your location and there is no upper limit for the size of a Monarch Waystation habitat.
Butterflies and butterfly plants need lots of sun; therefore, Monarch Waystations need to be located in an area that receives at least six hours of sun a day. Drainage and Soil Type. Milkweeds and nectar plants will do best in relatively light (low-clay) soils. Good drainage is needed to avoid root rot and provide good aeration of the roots.
To assure that the maximum number of monarchs survive in your habitat, the plants should be relatively close together. However, they should not be crowded – be sure to follow the planting guides specific to each plant. All monarch life stages need shelter from predators and the elements. Planting milkweeds and nectar plants close together contributes to this shelter for monarchs and other wildlife.
To maximize the use of your habitat by monarchs, we recommend that you have at least 10 milkweed plants, made up of two or more species; however, a large number of plants (more than 10) of one species is sufficient. Milkweeds of different species mature and flower at different times during the season. By increasing the number of milkweed species in your habitat you will increase the likelihood that monarchs will utilize your property for a longer period during the breeding season.
Monarchs, other butterflies, and numerous pollinators need nectar. By providing nectar sources that bloom sequentially or continuously during the season (as many butterfly plants do) your Monarch Waystation can provide resources for monarchs throughout the breeding season and the migration in the fall. A Monarch Waystation should contain several annual, biennial, or perennial plants that provide nectar for butterflies.
You should have a plan to sustain a Monarch Waystation. Specific actions you take will depend on the features of your habitat; however, some general examples include mulching, thinning, fertilizing, amending the soil, removing dead stalks, watering, eliminating insecticide use, removing invasive plant species, and incorporating additional features.
Once you finish your Waystation you can have your habitat certified as an Official Monarch Waystation! Click here to see the appliction.