Plant a monarch garden
Oklahoma's Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist
Sandy Schwinn is a retired teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education. She has always lived in Oklahoma, growing up in Oklahoma City and moving to Tulsa in 1973. She has raised Monarchs for 35 years, starting with a mysterious caterpillar she and her two small children found on a vine growing on a backyard fence. The larva was brought in, fed and kept in a canning jar while all anxiously awaited to see what it would become. She would later learn the name of the vine, Honeyvine, or Cynanchum laeve, a local host for Monarchs, that grows in wild abundance in Northeastern Oklahoma. That backyard vine was visited every year. More Monarch caterpillars were raised, and were eventually brought into the classroom and then shared with other classrooms. She discovered other caterpillars on other plants and brought them in to raise. To date, she has raised 30+ species of butterflies and moths, and has documented the lifecycles with photos that can be found at pbase.com/bfmom.
Plant Sources & Events
Tulsa Metro nurseries and plant festivals are excellent sources for milkweed plants and nectar plants. Both are must haves for Monarchs. The butterflies lay eggs ONLY on milkweed plants, and they need fuel, which comes from the blooms of dozens of Oklahoma native and non-native plants.
Here are some places which usually have a variety of plants that will draw Monarchs to your garden:
Plants For Tulsa Region
Register Your Garden
Report Your Sightings & track migration
Other Things You Can Do
Not ready to build your own monarch garden? Here are some other things you can do to get involved.
- Talk to your employer, church, or school about establishing a Monarch Waystation on their property
- Connect with local organizations working to protect the monarch
- Attend events that support these efforts
- Call your local mayor, city councilor, and county commissioner
- Connect with Oklahoma Friends of Monarchs