A garden kit is a collection of plants pre-selected by our nursery to meet a certain purpose. Garden kits are designed to make gardening goals easy. They can be used as a quick way to start gardening native without having to research all 100+ plants in our nursery to decide what might be right for you.
Monarch butterflies have recently been listed as endangered. To best support this important species, the Monarch Way-station Kit provides the native flowers with which they evolved, blooming from they time they arrive in the spring to the time they migrate in the fall. This colorful variety of nectar plants will signal the presence of butterfly-friendly habitat to passing adults and other pollinators.
The Monarch Way-station also provides 3 species of milkweed host plants native to Michigan as food for Monarch caterpillars, as well as a small flowering shrub for chrysalis concealment and support. Monarch Butterflies must have milkweeds to lay their eggs - they are unable to use any other species of plant for their caterpillars.
If we each provide milkweed host plants and all-season nectar plant food sources, we can create a chain of habitats, or way-stations, for Monarch butterflies as they migrate each year through North America to their overwintering sites in Mexico and California.
The Monarch Waystation is designed for average garden soil and full to part sun. It will contain one shrub seedling (Shrubby Cinquefoil or New Jersey Tea) and 2 to 5 of each of the other species. A typical kit would contain the following mix of plants, but one way we keep the per plant costs low on garden kits is by reserving the right to substitute plants based on our current inventory. Your kit is likely to differ from the list below in exact species, however, the plants included will meet the stated goals of the kit, in this case, host plants and nectar plants needed by Monarch butterflies. If you need specific plants for your garden goals, consider supplementing your garden kit with quarts:
- Butterfly Milkweed - Monarch caterpillar host plant. This plant likes lean, dry soil.
- Whorled Milkweed - Monarch caterpillar host plant,
- Swamp (Rose) Milkweed - Monarch caterpillar host plant. Although it does prefer swampy soil, regular garden soil will do. Plant in a spot with more moisture or water during drought.
- Shrubby Cinquefoil or New Jersey Tea - nectar plant and chrysalis shrub,
- Stiff or other Goldenrod - late nectar plant,
- Early or other Sunflower - long-season nectar plant,
- Bergamot or Prairie Phlox- early nectar plant,
- Joe Pye Weed - prolific and favored nectar plant,
- New England or other Aster - late nectar plant,
- Northern or other Blazing Star - late summer nectar plant
- Coneflower, Purple or other - summer nectar plant,
- Pale Agoseris - early nectar plant.
If substitutions are necessary, they may include Common Milkweed, Boneset, Black-eyed Susan, Culver's Root, Cutleaf Coneflower, Dogtooth Daisy, Mountain Mint, Yarrow, Grey Headed Coneflower, Hoary or Blue Vervain, Lanceleaf Coreopsis, or others. These plants are also recommended if you wish to expand your Monarch garden. I would love to add Common Milkweed to all Monarch Kits - it is both an excellent host plant and good for nectar, however, it can spread with deep rhizomes and may not stay where you put it. If you have room for it to roam, please consider adding a plant or two. You can also ask for us to include it in your kit.
This economical kit includes 38 plugs that fill 38 square feet at 1-foot spacing - a 4'x9.5' bed; or up to 86 square feet at 1.5 sq. ft. spacing - a 6'x14' bed. If you need to buy two kits to fill your space, check out our "buy one, get the second identical kit for 25% off" deal.
Each kit comes with a planting guide as well as instructions for placing a perch and creating a butterfly "puddler". The plants are individually tagged for identification and all tags include height so you can alter the layout to suit your space.
How is this kit different than our Butterfly Kit? This kit contains three kinds of Milkweed for hosting/feeding Monarch Caterpillars. Monarchs migrate, so they may stop by and feed at different times of the year, even if they are not breeding at your site. The non-milkweeds in this kit are included to provide full-season nectar for large butterflies. In the Butterfly Kit, all of the plants are host plants for other butterflies, with nectar being a secondary benefit.