Power the Migration

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES undertake an incredible multigenerational migration from Mexico to the northern U.S. and Canada and back again. But their numbers have plummeted. The good news is that the right plants can make a difference.

Texans can power the migration by taking any one of these three steps:

  • Planting or protecting native milkweeds.
  • Planting or protecting nectar-rich wildflowers that bloom in spring.
  • Planting or protecting nectar-rich wildflowers that bloom in fall.

The plants that we present below are widely distributed across the “Texas funnel,” which is the primary migratory flyway in the spring and fall for monarchs. These plants should be relatively easy to find at your local nursery. If not, ask the nursery to stock them!

1. Plant and Protect These Three Texas Milkweeds

These three milkweeds provide the most protection for monarchs (in the form of cardenolides) and are the most commonly found throughout the Texas flyway.

Antelope horns

Antelope horns

Asclepias asperula
Zizotes milkweed

Zizotes milkweed

Asclepias oenotheroides
Green antelopehorn

Green antelopehorn

Asclepias viridis

2. Plant and Protect These Five Spring Nectar Plants

These five widespread Texas natives offer abundant nectar for monarchs flying north in the spring. Learn why this is important. They are easy to grow, will look great in a planned landscape and are relatively easy to find at nurseries and through seed sources.

Prairie verbena

Prairie verbena

Glandularia bipinnatifida
Purple coneflower

Purple coneflower

Echinacea pupurea
Texas lantana

Texas lantana

Lantana urticoides
Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta
Mealy blue sage

Mealy blue sage

Salvia farinacea

3. Plant and Protect These Five Fall Nectar Plants

These five widespread Texas natives offer abundant nectar for monarchs flying south to Mexico in the fall. Learn why this is important. They are easy to grow, will look great in a planned landscape and are relatively easy to find at nurseries and through seed sources.

Gregg's mistflower

Gregg's mistflower

Conoclinium greggii
Shrubby boneset

Shrubby boneset

Ageratina havanensis
Gregg's mistflower

Maximilian sunflower

Helianthus maximiliani
Fall aster

Fall aster

Symphyotrichum oblongifolium
Frostweed

Frostweed

Verbesina virginica

It Takes a Landscape

Think like a Texan and look at the big picture when it comes to supporting monarchs.