Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. has been providing ecological services to the US Park Service, U.S. Grant National Historic Site in south Saint Louis County. You may have seen some of our earlier blogs, as we are very proud of the work we are accomplishing at this great historical site. About 8-10 weeks ago we installed native plants in their stormwater basin, planting several hundred forbs and sedges as deep cell plugs, a relatively small, starter-size plant. Well, in this short time period these plants have just grown like crazy and many are now three feet tall. Among the plants already blooming are the swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) which attract Monarch butterflies. Low and behold, while performing a site inspection at the basin, we already are seeing Monarch caterpillars on these plants. We took a picture of one of these caterpillars and, if you look closely, you will find a second one.
Who would have thought that this could have occurred so quickly – just 8 to 10 weeks after planting small plugs? It is a good lesson for all of us. Planting native plants for butterflies and pollinators is important and they quickly attract insects. Plant a native garden today!