Monarch Garden Planting Tips

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Maintenance, Native Plants, Starting a garden.

If you ordered a Monarch Garden Kit or are new to gardening, this “How-to” sheet might be helpful.

Monarch Garden Planting Tips

Thank you for purchasing one of the Monarch Kits! The plants will need a little TLC for a few weeks while they get settled and their root systems get established. We’ve written up these brief instructions to help you get them off to a great start.

Before planting:

  • Make sure the plants are well-hydrated. This will give them a boost when being transplanted. If you can, try to plant on an overcast day or in the late afternoon/evening to give them some time without hot temperatures.
  • Be sure that the spot where these plants are going get at least 4 hours of sunlight. 6 + is even better.
    New England Aster and Showy Goldenrod should go in the back of the border, Coneflowers in the middle, and Long-beaked Sedge in the front.
  • Have mulch ready to go (dye-free mulch or leaf mulch is important). Leaves placed under regular hardwood shredded mulch is ideal. There’s no need to add compost or fertilizer.

Planting time:

  • Dig out the hole, making sure it’s wide enough and at a depth equal to or slightly deeper than the plug of the plant
  • Gently tip the plant out of its container; you might need to squeeze around the container to help loosen everything up. If you need to pull the plant out, try to push up through the holes in the bottom of the container, and then hold the bottom of the stem to gently ease the plant out. Loosen up roots if needed.
  • Place the plant in the hole; the hole should be deep enough that the soil will cover the roots.
  • Fill the hole halfway with soil. Water so that soil settles around the roots, and then continue to fill in with soil. Give one last watering. You can make a berm around the plant to help direct water to the root area.
  • Mulch around the plant; be sure mulch does not pile up on the stem.
  • If the plant wilts in direct sun, you can put up temporary shade (something like a large container or box that will throw shade on the plant) until it gets its systems “back online.”

After planting:

  • Water well every day for the first few days. Then go to every other day (keep an eye on your transplants and be sure they are doing ok, no drooping or withering) for the next week or so. Depending on the weather, you might need to keep up watering every few days for the 1st couple of months. After that, the plants should be ok without too much supplemental water (exception would be a water-loving plant in a dry spot).
  • Keep the bed weeded and mulched.
  • You may get blooms next year if not sooner, but, depending on the species of plant, it can take up to three years for them to reach maturity.

Questions? E-mail us at westcook@outlook.com, and we will get back to you within a day. Your purchase of a Monarch Kit and the nurturing of its plants will help to ensure the survival of the monarch butterfly and rescue this iconic species from the fate of extinction. Be sure to add your garden to the West Cook Wildlife Corridor. Details at West Cook Wild Ones Wildlife Corridor

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