Select Nectar Plants
A certified way station should contain several annual, biennial or perennial plants that provide the nectar that monarchs need throughout their breeding season and their long migration. Ideally, these plants are selected to ensure that there are continuous blooms throughout the summer season. Both cultivated and wild perennials are good nectar sources.
Cultivated perennials include asters, bee balm (Monarda spp.), catnip (Nepeta cataria); daisy (Bellis perennis), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and sedum.
Among the wild perennials are black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), blazing star (Liatris spp.), dandelion (Taraxicum officinale), goldenrod (Solidago spp.), Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium spp.), thistle (Cirsium spp.), wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) and yarrow (Achillea spp.).
Annuals include French marigold (Tagetes patula), verbena, zinnias, impatiens, cosmos, alyssum (Lobularia maritima), Mexican sunflower (Tithonia spp.), ironweed (Vernonia altissima) and candytuft (Iberis spp.).
Some shrubs also attract monarchs, such as azalea (Rhododendron spp.), butterfly bush (Buddleja spp.), lilac (Syringa spp.), sumac (Rhus spp.), spirea and viburnum.