With a name like “Monarch Waystation,” you might expect to find the King and Queen settling in for the night, but these carefully cultivated garden paradises are meant for a different kind of visitor: arguably the most well-known and beloved of their kind, the “King” of butterflies, the Monarch.

As some of the world’s top pollinators, butterflies are an essential part of our ecosystem, improving crop yield, preventing soil erosion, and increasing carbon sequestration. Butterfly populations have been shrinking alarmingly, however, with a 75% to 99% drop shown for the migratory Monarch butterfly, depending on location. This is mostly credited to loss of feeding, nesting, and wintering habitats, pesticide use, and climate change.

Butterfly-friendly plants have been on the rise in domestic gardens recently, due to growing awareness of the butterfly’s importance and endangerment, as well as to the pure joy of attracting these beautiful visitors. You can check out our plants and purchase on-site.

Butterfly farms is a Monarch Waystation specially designed to meet the needs of Monarch butterflies. Every Spring, monarch butterflies fly more than 2,000 miles from their hibernation grounds along the Southern West Coast, and in the forests of central Mexico all the way up to their breeding grounds in the Northern U.S. and Canada. They need nectar plants to sustain them, safe plants for roosting and recovery, and plants that will host and feed the next generation. Monarch Waystations have it all!

Depending on your situation—your region, how much space you have, whether you’re container gardening or ground planting, and other factors—you may choose to curate a smaller but still delectable selection of plants to delight your fluttering friends along their way.

So where do you start? With so many plants to choose from, researching and selecting which plants will meet which needs of your little visitors that also meet the needs of your space and region can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are organizations like Butterfly Farms who are dedicated to supporting both pollinators and people in creating the best habitats. With a farm specializing in all the right plants for ecosystem gardening, and the know-how you’ll need, it’s easy to get your own Monarch friendly garden.