Quantcast

Monarchs benefiting from drought tolerant landscaping trend - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Monarchs benefiting from drought tolerant landscaping trend

Posted: Updated:

As thousands of monarch butterflies arrive on the Central Coast to spend the winter months, they are getting help from an unlikely source - the drought.


Local landscapers and nurseries say there is a major trend toward planting native milkweed because it's drought tolerant and beneficial for the butterflies.


Josh Carmichael of Carmichael Environmental Landscape Design & Build says demand for milkweed is at an all-time high.


"Milkweed has become a really popular plant this year and rightfully so for all the sake of the monarch butterflies losing their habitat," Carmichael told KSBY.

Barry Garraway ripped out his lawn this year and planted 27 milkweeds instead.

"It's drought tolerant, it has nice little flowers and you produce something as beautiful as a monarch butterfly," Garraway said.

Teresa Tappan works in the nursery at Miner's Ace Hardware in Grover Beach and says they can hardly keep the plant in stock.


"We have people calling to ask when our next delivery will be," Tappan said.

Carmichael had one client order 100 milkweed plants earlier this year.

"It's just being able to find it right now. We've had to scramble a little bit for people wanting it," Carmichael said. "We've had some growers really increase their production."

Danielle Patterson of Oceano Dunes State Park, says they will have a better idea of how much of an impact the milkweed landscaping trend has on the population next year. Until then, she's optimistic.

"It could be a big impact," Patterson said. "As long as there is a habitat and food source, we would hope that the numbers could increase."

Cheryl Powers is a docent at the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove and says encouraging people to plant milkweed is an important part of her tours.

"It's just one little insect coming out that you feel like you played some particular role in helping to bring back the population of the species," Powers told KSBY.

For many monarch enthusiasts like Garraway, watching a chrysalis hatch is much better than watching grass grow.

"I know that there are hundreds of the caterpillars that have gone into my yard and set up chrysalises," Garraway said.

The type of milkweed you plant is very important. Experts say opt for the native narrow leaf milkweed which requires very little water and the monarchs thrive upon.

They recommend not planting tropical milkweed because it needs more water and can be toxic to the butterflies or cause them to develop deformities.

The Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove kicks off its season with an all-day event this Sunday.


Docent expect to see more than 30,000 butterflies visit the grove between now and January.

WEATHER
Doppler Radar
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police: Drugs, gun, stolen bikes found in Atascadero home

    Police: Drugs, gun, stolen bikes found in Atascadero home

    Thursday, October 19 2017 7:28 PM EDT2017-10-19 23:28:02 GMT

    Atascadero police arrested two people on Tuesday after they say they found drugs, an illegally modified firearm, and stolen bikes in a home where two small children live. 

    Atascadero police arrested two people on Tuesday after they say they found drugs, an illegally modified firearm, and stolen bikes in a home where two small children live. 

  • Researchers study great white sharks and their attraction to area off Vandenberg AFB

    Researchers study great white sharks and their attraction to area off Vandenberg AFB

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 10:07 PM EDT2017-10-19 02:07:15 GMT

    While the beaches off of Vandenberg Air Force Base are popular for surfing, the water is also a popular spot for great white sharks, so several of the beaches there were closed this week for shark research.  

    While the beaches off of Vandenberg Air Force Base are popular for surfing, the water is also a popular spot for great white sharks, so several of the beaches there were closed this week for shark research.  

  • One crew member killed, one rescued by Coast Guard north of San Simeon

    One crew member killed, one rescued by Coast Guard north of San Simeon

    Thursday, October 19 2017 10:55 PM EDT2017-10-20 02:55:51 GMT
    A man was rescued after a boat's mast split in two. (Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard)A man was rescued after a boat's mast split in two. (Photo courtesy of the Coast Guard)

    One crew member is dead and another recovering from a fishing boat accident north of San Simeon. Around midnight on Thursday, the mast of the 54-foot Pamela Rose fishing boat broke, killing one crew member and injuring another, according to the Coast Guard. The accident happened eight miles north of Point Piedras.  Coast Guardsmen from the San Francisco Air Station were dispatched by helicopter to the boat. One crew member was found dead at the scene, while the other o...

    One crew member is dead and another recovering from a fishing boat accident north of San Simeon. Around midnight on Thursday, the mast of the 54-foot Pamela Rose fishing boat broke, killing one crew member and injuring another, according to the Coast Guard. The accident happened eight miles north of Point Piedras.  Coast Guardsmen from the San Francisco Air Station were dispatched by helicopter to the boat. One crew member was found dead at the scene, while the other o...

Powered by Frankly

© KSBY.com 2017, KSBY.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?