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Organize A Milkweed Plant Giveaway

Category: How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

For two years in a row our local land trust has sponsored a milkweed giveaway at our local farmers market. The momentum has grown and this year we had an eager crowd of friends and neighbors waiting to receive their plants. In addition, there were plenty more who did not yet know the value of milkweed and were delighted to learn they could make a contribution to improving our local ecosystem!MonarchOLC Presentation-red

We contacted two sources for our milkweed plants this year. One source was Monarch Watch, a national organization dedicated to increasing populations of monarch butterflies. They sent us a few hundred plants at no charge except the cost of shipping, because we were using most of them for a local habitat restoration project. Included were common milkweed (asclepias syriaca) and swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata). Our other source was Helia Native Nursery, a local native plant nursery that propagated the plants themselves and sold them to us for $3.25 per plant. They were swamp milkweed, which has a pretty pink flower when in bloom, and grows nicely in a garden bed.

Next we created a Fact Sheet to have at our booth to help answer questions about the connection between Monarchs and milkweed, and the importance of both. Some Facts include the following:

  • In 2004 550 million Monarchs completed their annual migration to Mexico from the United States. In 2013 only 33 million arrived, representing a decline of 94%!
  • Scientific research concludes that the primary reason for the decline in Monarchs is the destruction of the most important plant to their survival: Milkweed
  • Milkweed is essential to Monarchs because it is the ONLY plant that female monarchs lay eggs on.

For information on organizing your own milkweed plant giveaway contact Dorian Winslow, President of Womanswork, at We can also make the original files for the Fact Sheet available to you and you can customize for your organization. Enjoy!

Dorian Winslow, President of Womanswork, with Stancy DuHamel

5 thoughts on “Organize A Milkweed Plant Giveaway

  1. marcia krueger says:

    Hello, I had milkweed in my rough garden up north in Michigan specifically for the Monarch’s & they’re awful plight. It was so bad year after year I’d get less and less in my garden. Now I live in Spring Hill, FL year round. Can I plant it here? Does it need to rest? How can I buy or get a few plants?

  2. marcia krueger says:

    Hello, I had milkweed in my rough garden up north in Michigan specifically for the Monarchs. I watched as year after year less would arrive. It was so sad. Now I live in Spring Hill, FL year round. Can I grow it down here? Does it need to rest? Where can I buy or get a few plants?

  3. Deb Lawrence says:

    Don’t have an organization, but willing to plant seeds if you can tell me where to find them. Thanks

  4. Robyn Dawson says:

    Love this idea of Milkweed plant giveaway. We are hosting a pollinator party next month and would like the fact sheet files to make up our celebration. This is such a great idea. I also have many milkweed plants in my yard and would like to have any info you can give me as to successfully dig up and transplant them.

    Thank you for your help!


  5. Dear Deb, I suggest you contact Monarch Watch for information about seeds. I hear that it’s more difficult to start with seeds, rather than seedlings. Either way, they will have information that is helpful. Thank you! –Dorian Winslow

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