Our Foundation has steadily grown into the premere resource for Monarch materials in North America.
Thank you! While many know us and love us, some newcomers may need a little reassurance.
Here are just a few of the comments and emails we see every week.
UPDATE: my 8 yr. old just came home from a birthday party and brought me 2 milkweed plants and 15 eggs. I planted the milkweed right away, cut the leaves for the eggs and as I was putting them into the egg box I found another 3 had hatched!! I am addicted!
Hello! Christopher: We met a few weeks ago (actually it was Friday week) when I came out and you kindly educated me on the butterfly/milkweed. You gave me a caterpillar castle and several (7) larvae. I set it up according to your instructions and put 5 in the castle and 2 in the garden. When the first one assumed the J position, I cried and have loved watching 2 more. This morning the first one emerged!!!! And of course I cried again....I put sugar-watered cotton balls in there and some red pentas. Now my question is once this precious one dries out, do I try to release her while the others hang or does she stay in there until all are ready? I unfortunately chose the small castle and someday I think I will come out and get a larger one because the grandchildren are going to love this!....Once again, thanks for your work and for taking the time to share your knowledge with me. I am sure we will see you again. Sincerely Harriette Hill
Thanks Chris. I really appreciate it a lot. You have great customer service.
Subject: Re: recent purchase
|Before I retired from teaching, I must have taught hundreds of teachers
and classes the awesome story of the monarch butterfly and how to find the
eggs, or larva to raise!!!!!! I still get excited in summer protecting
milkweed and raising egg to adult monarchs with colleagues, friends, and
This is indeed a cause dear to my heart that you are doing. Keep me posted
on any new discoveries. I recently discovered a recently published book:
Four Wings and a Prayer that tells some amateur scientists traveling endless
hours, searching devotedly for more info about How They Do It!!!!! I was
gratified to realize all my conjectures of decades of study were
by these studies.
A monarch admirer,
I can't believe the timing you have. I received this e-mail today. During our spring break the lawn crew (which doesn't speak English) instead of asking how to trim the butterfly garden (which they were told not to touch) ripped it out by the roots. I lost so many native plants and special plants that I have driven many miles to collect.
I'm meeting with the head of the lawn division for the school tomorrow morning as to how much they will give me (if any) to replant this garden.
Please e-mail me as to how I can move forward with seeds, or other support.
|Message Type: Story
My grandmother always loved butterflies and Monarchs were her favorite. I spent every summer with her during my childhood and had many special memories of my grandparents interactions with nature and gardens. Now that she is gone this is a way for me to preserve her memory. Every time I see a Monarch I think of her smiling down on my. My daughter just went to her first prom last weekend and while we were outside taking pictures two Monarch butterflies started swarming the cherry tree in the background. I took the most beautiful picture that could win awards! What a perfect memory to a very special night! My grandmother made me love these beautiful creatures and I want to help my students love them as well.
|Message Type: Praise
Garfield Elementary is located in an urbal industrial community of lower socioeconomic status, as reflected by the fasct that over 90% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches.Last year\'s CBEDS data indicate that 98% of our students are of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and approximately 80% are classified as LEP, Limited English Proficient, speaking Spanish as their first language. With the high cost of living increase, many of our families do not have the means to do extra things for their children, so I would like to take the opportunity to thank your organization for providing the funding and giving our students the opportunity to bring the Monarch Butterflies into the classrooms.
|Message Type: Praise
Thank you so much for the opportunity to pursue a natural science laboratory on our school grounds. As state legislators continue to decrease funding at the local level, all monetary grants are earnestly pursued. We appreciate your willingness to assist us as science teachers! Thanks again - Kathy, 2nd grade teacher, Overland Park, KS.
We sometimes see really friendly monarchs too. We believe they imprint on us as a caregiver, especially if we give them food or place them on flowers. While not common we have had some that will adopt us as their friends and taxi service. Not to worry about the cold unless there is a near freeze they will be fine outdoors. Pupae should hatch very soon 3-5 days after arrival...cooler temps may delay this a bit.
All the best,
Hello Live Monarch.org,
|Message Type: Story
Name: Nancy C.
About ten years ago, I was driving home one afternoon along a new highway. Several swarms of Monarchs crossed the road along my way. I was mesmerized by the sight, something I\'d never seen before, and felt that I was indeed privileged. Nancy, Rockvale, TN
Just an update on our butterfly project. We planted our seeds and our plants grew nice and healthy, I never paid too close attention, MAINLY BECAUSE WE HAD NOT PURCHASED ANY EGGS OR CATERPILLARS YET.but something was eating our milkweed !??
Well, this morning, we were about to water our milkweedS, and got a huge surprise ! Caterpillars...... ALL OVER !! WE HAD PLANNED THAT ONCE OUR PLANTS WERE HEALTHY WE WOULD ORDER SOME EGGS AND CATERPILLARS....never knew mother nature had plans of her own (smile)
BOY WHAT A NICE SURPRISE. LAST COUNT WE HAVE 12 CATERPILLARS !!
Thanks again for the seeds, we enjoyed your online course and this homeschool unit was a huge success !
Carolyn and Khadijah Eure
|Just wanted to let you know how pleased I was with your large monarch caterpillar kit! I planted the milkweed plants in my garden, along with other flowers to attract adults. My caterpillars I got from you have grown and been released, all to the delight of my class of second graders (and other teachers!) The best thing was, as I was collecting leaves for my caterpillars at school, I noticed SEVERAL monarch caterpillars in my garden, muching on the milkweed. They are growing nicely, so 12 more monarchs will, hopefully, be released as adults! What a beautiful process to observe!
The parents of my kids have gotten involved, and we are now planning a butterfly garden for school.
Thanks so much for getting me started!
Sincerely, Jodi Hein
Thank you for working with me to help make the PTA Science Explorers
Thank you also for telling me that adult butterflies will accept
One other piece of good news: At the science night the principal agreed
Dr. Mary Urquhart Kelly
Message Type: Suggestion
OUR ANSWER - YES and tell all your friends too.
Hi. I came across your website while searching for information
Message Type: Praise
OUR ANSWER - Good Luck...We are here to help!
Hi, I ordered Milkweed plants from ya all and was wondering are the
Hello to all!
I am from Greece.
Yesterday morning I found a butterfly with curled, very damaged wings in the water at the side of the road.
She climbed up my fingers and I put her at an open area next to my house on the grass.
All night long it was blowing hard and today I found her outside my door and she climbed again my hand.
I first fed her with a drop of honey that she sucked from my finger.
I put her on a daisy but she fell again.
Then I decided to keep her in my house. I cut some daisies and she sucks them from time to time.
Her wings get worse and worse. I've read your site about the way to help her but this is very hard because her wings are ruined and seem dry.
I only managed to stick a part of it. I can't stretch the wings.
I put her in an open bowl of glass with a daisy in it.
What can I do to help her not to suffer? Do butterflys need water?
I wish you weren't so far away so you could help her with a new pair of wings.
I'll be waiting for your reply.
I just ordered 5 milkweed plants from your site for our campus as we are planning to start a butterfly garden.
Is there any additional information you can give us other than buy the plants? Should I buy live monarchs too?
We were influenced by the fact that one of our International Fellows, Cristopher Lopez Paniagua from Mexico is currently involved in the management of the Monarch Butterfly Reserve,including WWF-MEXICO, the Mexican Fund to the Nature Conservation, USAID, and CONANP to develop his research project. Because of his project we thought it was about time we had a butterfly garden at the World Forestry Center.
We are a non-profit education facility so any free advice you can give me on how to start our garden here in Portland Oregon I would appreciate.
World Forestry Center
I received your address from a neighbor of mine when I am at my summer home in Washburn Co., northwest Wisconsin. For the past three summers, I have looked for monarch caterpillars during my daily walks, brought them home, placed them in my outdoor butterfly hatchery, fed them, and watched them form their chrysalises and hatch. I release them in the same area in which I find them. Last summer, I released 29 monarchs; the previous summer, 27. (I don't remember the first year's numbers.) The entire process is such a joy to watch, for me and for the many visitors who have been educated about monarchs through this venture. I am very concerned about their survival, and I hope that I am increasing (not decreasng) their chances by my "intervention".
My winter home is in Morgan County, central Illinois. I am surrounded by farm land. I am increasingly distressed by the number of "clean ditches" in the area!!! The farmers seem obsessed with the necessity of keeping all the ditches mowed down!! I first became nterested in monarchs when helping my son, a student teacher in the fall of '03, build the hatchery. We found a few caterpillars, and he raised them to butterflies in the classroom. (By the way.--I have never transported any of these, at any stage, from one state to another.!) However, just in those few years, I have noticed a reduction in the number of milkweed growing naturally around here.
Other than plant some seed myself, what can I do to help educate area farmers about the need to allow milkweed to grow? Please let me know. I am also interested in receiving some free seeds. Thanks!
Well, Planting seeds is of course the best first action and then the education of others to do the same. Please feel free to use our materials in that pursuit and take advantage of all our site has to offer.
We have found that a seed pack in the right hand will get people to take action!
All the best,
I am a schoolteacher in Gunnison, Colorado. I just today was forwarded your
We only grow the southern...we are in south Florida and the northern type cant take the heat too well.
Hi. I am writing you from the Bahamas. I live on Green Turtle Cay, a small family island in the Abacos. I moved here in July of 2001, from Winter Park, Florida, where I enjoyed raising monarchs on a small scale (for personal pleasure!). To my delight I noticed Monarchs flying around my yard here in Green Turtle usually in August or September, but only for a two or three week period, then they would be gone until the next year. Last year I decided to plant Milkweed to see if I could encourage any females to lay eggs on the plants. Well, over the past few months I was once again able to rear at least a couple of dozen or more eggs. We had Monarchs in the yard for at least 6 or 7 months instead of the usual 3 weeks. They are gone now, but I hope to plant a lot more milkweed this year to encourage more butterflies this fall.
In addition to raising them in jars at my house, I took some eggs up to the Primary school on the island where the first and second grade classrooms raised an egg and had the joy of releasing a butterfly. The first grade teacher, Mrs. Roberts, documented the entire process with a digital camera and had a small booklet made for her students. We just had 100 copies printed which we are going to sell as a fundraiser for the school at the annual 'Island Roots Heritage Festival' here on Green Turtle Cay. We are attaching a few milkweed seed packets to the books along with selling Milkweed plants and having literature available to educate the public. It is my hope that Green Turtle Cay can become a home for many Monarchs in the future!
Thanks for the the great information on your site. I have printed the GOT MILKWEED poster for display along with some other material about the Monarchs.
Just wanted to let you know what we are doing to help save the Monarchs here in the Bahamas!
Amy Roberts Primary School
Green Turtle Cay
I was very concerned to read in your milkweed growing directions that
I think it would be a real shame if people who were trying to "save the
Phillips, Henry R. 1985. Growing and propagating wild flowers. Univ. of
The author here indicates that milkweeds thrive on neglect, with very
If you disagree and want to mention fertilization, then please at least
Thanks for your time! I should add that I liked your treatment of pest
Our Reply: Shortened for you was that we agree and made changes to our site to incorporate what we do which is natural fertilizer...Composting!!! We are thankful for all your suggestions and do try to make updates when we can.
|Hi, I usually don't look at "junk" e-mail at work, but had just been commenting to my son and daughter that I hadn't seen any Monarchs this summer. We live in New Hampshire (farmers) and have lots of milkweed patches where we usually find lots of caterpillars--and we often see the butterflies in our gardens. But NONE this year. I was interested to learn of the rain and ice that killed so many...maybe why we haven't seen any. Thanks for your good work, and we have the milkweed if they come back!
Beaver Pond Farm
We received four chrysalis from you. Three have emerged successfully and one had difficulty and was unable to fly (we hope she is safe in our yard). We called your staff for help with her and the gentleman who answered (Chris?) was wonderful. The male butterfly that successfully emerged today was friendly and curious, flew around our yard and even came back later in the day after flying off for several hours. This has been a fantastic experience – thanks for your hard work – we have distributed milkweed seeds to everyone at my place of employment and will plant in our yard as well.
I hope to order some seeds... Years ago, when I lived in St. Louis, Missouri, I was going to Mass at St. Anthony's Catholic Church. It was a huge Franciscan Church, stuccoed and lovely. I stopped before going into the church... because the whole side of the building facing me was covered with monarch butterflies! The church fairly pulsed with the movement of the wings. It was breathtaking.
I do have a milkweed, but it is scrawny... also a butterfly area. I've seen no monarchs this year.... Columbia, SC.
I am very impressed with your website and efforts. I have sent links to
LMF: We have them!
|Thanks for the heads up. I really like your site! I am particularly fascinated with the "butterfly repair course". Your photo captions are very funny. I released 3 black swallowtails this morning. They like the salvia and butterfly bush. I'm going to plant some more butterfly friendly plants in my garden as per your list. Also especially helpful is the info on storing and planting milkweed seeds, I had tried planting them directly when picking them off the plant, now I know why that wasn't succesful. Thanks again for a great resource, I've added yoy to my favorites and told a few people about you already!
|Just wanted to let you know how lovely your site is, and how much I am enjoying reading about the Monarch butterfly, It has always been my favourite butterfly because of its' beautiful burnt orange Fall colour.
Your site is so beautifully done, and I thankyou for taking so much time and effort to preserve these wonderful little miracles of God. I have several friends and e-pals that I will be forwarding this address to. I am certain that they will enjoy your site as much as I am. I am learning so much about butterflies that I did not know.
I live near an area with a lot of nature. We have lots of milkweed, or at least there used to be. Will have to check this out, as I haven't really seen all that many Monarch butterflies in the past few years.
But, I will make sure that I take some milkweed seeds and plant them for our future "Monarch friends."
I have adopted a butterfly "God's Little Miracle" and look forward to watching her progress through your emails. This will be great fun.
Some of my friends have butterfly bushes. Will these attract the Monarch or just other species?
God bless you all, as you continue forward in your wonderful endeavor.
I bought caterpillars from you about three weeks ago and this is the story of how it has turned out so far.
Before the caterpillars arrived I killed a nearby hornets nest to be sure they would be safe from harm.
When we received the package of caterpillars we were a bit surprised as to how small some of them were. I separated them out as equally as I could and distributed them among the three milkweed plants I had ready and waiting for them. My wife and I had made mesh nets that are about 3 foot high and surround the plants. They sealed off at the bottom with Velcro strips about 2 inches deep. This way we wouldn't have to worry about them being outdoors 24/7. The caterpillars grew quickly and my kids were very excited at first, but soon it was mainly my 10 year old son and I that kept close track of them.
About the 2nd week I went to the nursery to pick up another milkweed plant to try to attract wild butterflies. On a milkweed plant at the nursery I found a small Monarch caterpillar. I took it home to put it inside the net when my wife yelled at me that their was a hornet inside the net at the top. I looked and found that it was true. A hornet was buzzing around inside the net trying to get out and he looked pretty angry. I told my wife to grab a pair of kiddie scissors nearby and pinch the hornet through the net. She did so killing the hornet. When I went to open the net to get it out I saw a dark green goo smeared on the side of the net. I followed the goo and found a caterpillar struggling to hang onto the net and bleeding the goo from its side. Apparently the hornet stung it! I manage to get it to a leaf and it crawled on it. By the next morning it was dead. I was pretty upset by this and the funny thing is that I have always been nervous about hornets since I was stung by a nest of them as a kid. Now when I see a hornet I get extremely angry and kill it! Then I seek out its nest and destroy that as well! We can't imagine how it got into the net!
My son and I have been checking on the caterpillars several times daily since then. Last week I was lucky enough to spot the first caterpillar forming a J on the underside of a leaf. The next day It shed its skin and formed a chrysalis. Since then we have had 3 more caterpillars do the same.
Last night we saw the chrysalis start to turn clear. Everyone was very excited again and we all decided to get up early so we wouldn't miss it. I called a local news station to tell them we would have a Monarch emerging this morning, and to tell them the brief story of the tragic events that have befallen the Monarch over the last several years in Mexico. The woman that answered asked me to send her an e-mail telling her when it should emerge and to include your website address at www.livemonarch.com so she could investigate the subject. I also e-mailed the other local channels as well. Guess what!!! None of them showed!!! I was surprised by this because you have a whole page dedicated to the press. I thought they would be interested in it as a community story or just simply to get a 15 second clip of the butterfly emerging from its shell.
At about 12:30pm today the Monarch emerged from its clear shell. It is now drying its wings and filling them with fluid to stiffen them. My family is still pretty excited by it all and we have a bunch more left to go. I am sending you some pictures of our new butterfly Arthur (as in king). I'll also include a short film of the butterfly.
|Last year I sent for milkweed seeds & planted a butterfly garden. The milkweed grew & came back bigger this year. I also planted several butterfly bushes in the yard & have seen many butterflies including the beautiful monarch.
I went on vacation last week & got back yesterday. The first thing I did was check my milkweed plants. Much to my surprise I found several monarch caterpillars munching on the milkweed.
Just wanted to say thank you for the web site that gave me and my children an opportunity to help & to see these wonderful creatures up close.
|Hi I have grown milkweed plants for about 5 yrs and had
caterpillars the first year. Also hatched out about 15 or so
Monarchs. then the freeze and for 2 yrs I didn't have any.
This month so far I have collected 10 caterpillars and I am
waiting for them to cocoon and hatch out. It is so interesting
to watch. I am going to plant more milkweed as I am afraid
I will run out before they cocoon. I can't believe how big they
get so fast. I am going to have a raised bed of milkweed
next year. I had some in the yard but something ate it all the
way to the ground and it never came back. Thats why I have
it in pots. Thank you for the info that is available over the
I belong to the D-plex list for sharing monarch information and
I have a monarch here (boy) that emerged on 9th July this year. His
Can you suggest anything I can do for him?
I just wanted to give you some good news. I am a Master Gardener intern and was given an assignment to give a seminar on Butterfly Gardening about 5-6 weeks ago. And so I started studying, well really cramming like a high school kid. First I found a Spicebush cat clinging to our house, then I visited the Kalamazoo Nature center with a wonderful butterfly habitat! I have given the Butterfly Gardening seminar twice and today we released our first 4 monarchs. Tomorrow I will release at least 2 more and there are 43 chrysalides in various degrees of maturity hanging on my front porch. Today we had about 15 eggs, 9 hatchling's, and I would have to say about 30 cats in their 1st-4th instar. My children are getting used to watching the roadsides and memorizing where the milkweed is, on what streets and fields, and that almost daily I have to go out for my "fix", (fix dinner for the cats).
Tonight I came home and instead of finding the three butterflies that eclosed this morning, there were 5!!!! I have done all of this with no investment (since we had no money anyway, I was dx with cancer last Sept. then lost my job in June, and we have 5 children at home). I love your castles, but even at the $10.00 each right now it is not possible. We have a wonderful school system that I would like to present all of this to, but I need some guidance. Can you help me? The link to the posters is not working. Any other things I can do? I can present the fund raiser to the school and see what happens.
I also take a lot of pictures, so if you need any let me know!
Our partial response: 9 out of ten is fantastic ! Nature is usually 3%...
Send in a note on our comment form and lets get your letter up here too!
In case you are wondering, we do get a few complaints...usually the one of my caterpillars died (it happens...and we reship) or could I get more free seeds or the best complaint we see....Why didn't your site tell me how addictive raising monarch would be. That complaint is usually on the order form.