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Monarch Nectar Plants for Minnesota

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. To help, plant milkweed and nectar plants that are native to your area and help reverse the fortune of these beautiful insects!

Monarch Butterflies, Monarch Plants, Pollinator Plants, Butterfly Plants, Hummingbird Plants, Bee Plants, Midwest Plants, Minnesota Native Plants, Native Plants

Magnificent with its orange wings laced with black lines and bordered with white dots, the monarch butterfly is in trouble. Its population in North America has plummeted by 90% in the last 20 years. Among the reasons for this decline are habitat loss and degradation, loss of milkweed from extensive herbicide use and climate change.

Famous for their seasonal migration, monarchs are the only butterflies known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Millions of monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada south to California and Mexico for the winter, flying as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home. In spring, they breed and lay the eggs of the new generation. This starts the northern journey back to North America. Successive generations make the journey north. It is important to protect and restore habitat across their entire range. Adult monarchs need diverse nectar sources for food during all stages of the year. Caterpillars are totally dependent on their milkweed host plants (Asclepias). Inadequate milkweed or nectar plant food sources may impact the number of monarchs that successfully arrive at overwintering sites in the fall. Providing milkweed and other nectar-rich flowers that bloom where and when monarchs need them is one of the most significant actions you can take to support monarch butterfly populations.

What You Can Do for Monarch butterflies and other Pollinators:

  • Grow native flowering plants – Adapted to local soils and climates, native wildflowers, shrubs, and trees are usually the best sources of nectar and pollen for native pollinators. Most native plants require little irrigation, bloom without fertilizers, and are unlikely to become weedy.
  • Plant in the sun – Your pollinator-friendly plants should receive full sun throughout most of the day. Butterfly adults generally feed only in the sun.
  • Provide long-lasting blooms – Sustain pollinators throughout the seasons. Plant a variety of plants that flower at different times providing nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing season.
  • Plant in groups – Clumps of flowering plants will attract more pollinators than single plants scattered in the landscape.
  • No insecticides – Insecticides have the potential to poison or kill pollinators.

Here is a list of Minnesota native plants that are very attractive to monarch butterflies and other pollinators. A simple, native flower garden will attract beautiful butterflies to your yard and help pollinators stay healthy.

Guide Information

Native Plants United States, Midwest, Minnesota
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds

Monarch Nectar Plants for Minnesota

Ageratina altissima (White Snakeroot)
Amorpha canescens (Lead Plant)
Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)
Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)
Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed)
Asclepias verticillata (Whorled Milkweed)
Aster ericoides (Heath Aster)
Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
Cirsium altissimum (Tall Thistle)
Cirsium discolor (Field Thistle)
Cirsium muticum (Swamp Thistle)
Dalea candida (White Prairie Clover)
Eupatorium maculatum (Spotted Joe-Pye Weed)
Eupatorium perfoliatum (Common Boneset)
Euthamia graminifolia (Grass-Leaved Goldenrod)
Helianthus annuus (Common Sunflower)
Helianthus grosseserratus (Sawtooth Sunflower)
Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian Sunflower)
Helianthus pauciflorus (Stiff Sunflower)
Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflower)
Liatris aspera (Rough Blazing Star)
Liatris cylindracea (Dwarf Blazing Star)
Liatris ligulistylis (Rocky Mountain Blazing Star)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)
Monarda punctata (Spotted Bee Balm)
Oligoneuron rigidum (Stiff Goldenrod)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
Silphium integrifolium (Wholeleaf Rosinweed)
Solidago canadensis (Canada Goldenrod)
Solidago speciosa (Showy Goldenrod)
Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Aster)
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium (Aromatic Aster)
Verbena stricta (Hoary Vervain)
Vernonia fasciculata (Prairie Ironweed)
Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver’s Root)
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Midwest
Guides with
Midwest Minnesota
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Native Plants United States, Midwest, Minnesota
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Midwest
Guides with
Midwest Minnesota

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