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  • Writer's pictureWaystation Plants

How do I make a Butterfly Waystation Garden?


  • STEP 1: Choose your Milkweed: Common Milkweed, Pink Swamp Milkweed or Orange Butterflyweed all grow natively in Ontario. This is an essential food source for Monarch butterflies and caterpillars, and the Milkweed plant is vital to their survival. By increasing the number of milkweed species in your habitat you will increase the likelihood that Monarchs will utilize your Waystation.

  • STEP 2: Add at least 2 or 3 other nectar sources, especially native plants. Both annuals and perennials are important, and we recommend choosing a variety of sizes, colours and styles to attract more pollinators. Choose mostly native plants, and try to add something new every year. Purple Coneflower, Black Eyed Susans, and Lanceleaf Coreopsis are great for beginners. Some seeds will be planted in spring, and some in the fall.

  • STEP 3: Create shelter by adding leaves, wood chips, logs, mulch, and twigs where pollinators can hide. You could also add a bee hotel or a butterfly box, which are both decorative and functional.

  • STEP 4: Provide a clean water source for your thirsty pollinators. A shallow dish with pebbles works perfectly, such as a flowerpot saucer or a pie plate.

  • STEP 5: Keep it safe. Allow your Waystation to become a place that pollinators trust and return to, year after year. Do your best to keep predators away from the area, and clean the water dish regularly. If you take care of your Waystation, the pollinators will always come back. You may also wish to register your Waystation through Monarch Watch.


Waystations are butterfly gardens designed to provide milkweed, nectar and shelter sources to Monarch Butterflies.
Waystations are butterfly gardens designed to provide milkweed, nectar and shelter sources to Monarch Butterflies.


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