“Now, for the first time in its history, gardening has taken on a role that transcends the needs of the gardener. Like it or not, gardeners have become important players in the management of our nation’s wildlife. It is now within the power of individual gardeners to do something that we all dream of doing: to make a difference.”
— Doug Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home
What is a Monarch Waystation?
A Monarch Waystation is simply a garden that has both milkweed plants which Monarchs feed on as caterpillars, and nectar plants that they feed on as adults.
The best location is a sunny spot.
Milkweed, as you know is critical as it is the only plant Monarchs lay their eggs on.
In addition, the adults need nectar plants. Here’s a great article on the importance of nectar.
How Big Does a Waystation Need to Be?
A waystation can be as small or as large as you want to make it. You can grow it on a deck with containers, in a garden or as way of maintaining large acreage. The minimum recommendation is to have at least 10 milkweed plants (preferably 2 species of native milkweed) and an assortment of at least 4 native nectar plants.
Use this 10’x10′ sample plot to plan your garden. You can scale it up or scale it down based on your space.
The Waystation Recipes
We created a basic waystation plant list that you can use to get started. It includes milkweed and nectar plants. You will want to select at least 1-2 varieties of milkweed in addition to nectar plants. Visit the nurseries listed on the sheet for pesticide free plants and ask them for more ideas on good native plants for your garden..
Where to Buy Plants and Seeds
These Loudoun locations are stocking native pesticide-free plants for Monarch Waystations. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy members receive a 10% discount – join or renew today to receive your current membership card and details:
Alexandria, VA 22301
For seeds, visit Ernst Seed and ask them to add more milkweed seed to their Mid-Atlantic Pollinator Mix.
You can also visit the Monarch Watch for milkweed, but please pick milkweed varieties native to Virginia.
Here is our handout for Milkweed Planting and Care
Here is our handout on Pesticide Use
Local Landscape Designers with Native Plant Expertise
Lush Life Landscapes/Susan Abraham, 540-729-4497
Magee Design/John Magee, 540-687-5331
Please Certify Your Waystation!
By certifying your Monarch Waystation with Monarch Watch, you become part of a recognized network of people across the Country who are helping bring back the Monarch (and other pollinators and wildlife with them).
It’s important to certify your waystation so that impact can be measured and so you can mark what the garden/habitat signifies: Bringing Back the Monarch! By putting up a Monarch Waystation sign, you provide a way to communicate to others the plight of the Monarch and the need to restore habitat and an example for what a waystation can look like, which makes it easier for others to follow in your footsteps.
Step 1: Review the certification requirements (they’re easy!)
Step 2: Plant your garden (or add to existing habitat so you have all the essentials for a waystation)
Step 3: Complete the certification form and mail it in, or certify your site online
Step 4: Get your Monarch Waystation sign and put it up for all to see!
Step 5: Show the world your great habitat! Submit your site location and photos to Monarch Joint Venture and it will show up on their google map!
Google Map of Loudoun Waystations: Click here to zoom in on Loudoun
This map is maintained by Monarch Joint Venture but they need your information in order to post your waystation. We have over 300 waystations in Virginia (more than 80 in Loudoun!) but not all have been submitted to Monarch Joint Venture so if you certify your site be sure to take that final step and submit your information here! Share your story so others will follow your lead!