Hello, this is Ann. It is spring here in Iowa, and we are thinking about monarch butterflies. Monarchs need two kinds of plants — plants that the growing caterpillars can eat and flowering plants with nectar for the adult butterflies.
Out in our back yard, the milkweed plant is sprouting. Its leaves will be the host for the caterpillars. But what about the adults? Our friend Henry suggested that we plant zinnias, so I ordered seeds for his favorite, the California Giant zinnia.
I punched holes in the bottom of a supermarket plastic clamshell, filled it with potting mix, and planted some seeds. Two or three times a day I spray the soil with water. This is how they look after about two weeks of rather cool weather.
The seedling on the left still has the hull of the seed attached!
What are you doing outdoors this spring?