A few years ago, Monarchs were here by now. This one laid eggs on freshly emerged Marsh Milkweed in our garden on April 12, 2011. Milkweeds are the only host plants for the Monarch, that is, the only plant they eat when they are in the caterpillar stage.
The Monarchs are late this year, but they are on their way! You can check the maps and report your sightings, there are a few in our area already.
There is still time to plant native milkweeds in your garden, plants are just now emerging. Why not plant enough to become a Monarch Waystation? You need a minimum of ten plants, or five each of two different native species such as Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and Orange Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa). Then add some nectar plants. Adults nectar on many flowers that bloom at different times. In the fall, Monarchs love to nectar at Eastern Blazingstar (Liatris scariosa) in our garden.
It's best to plant only the native milkweeds for several reasons. I wrote a blog post on my support of this.
Here are links for information on how to get your garden certified as a Monarch Waystation.
Once your garden is certified, you can add the sign. It's a great way to let others know the Monarchs need all of us to help them recover. Have fun planting!