Monarchs are a great choice for a first time butterfly gardener. They're
big enough to see, and stick around long enough to enjoy. Their long
distance migrations increase your chance of their finding your garden.
As an added bonus, at least where I live, you might get
on your milkweed too. Check out my
Milkweed Host Plant
This Monarch (left) is laying an egg on a Milkweed leaf. It will hatch
into a tiny caterpillar that will eat and grow until it looks like these:
In the photo below, the Monarch is laying an egg, and under the leaf
you can see one she's already laid.
Once the caterpillars
have eaten (sometimes every bite of milkweed
you've provided) their fill, and are plump and mature enough, they hang
upside-down in a J-form to make their chrysalis.
The monarch below is a male, you can tell by the two large black spots
on the back wings; the female does not have those.
Click to visit my Emerging Monarch
to see a Monarch Butterfly emerge from it's
Monarch Butterflies use Milkweed
as their host plant
They are large
reddish-orange butterflies, and some people confuse them with other
large reddish-orange butterflies that live here in South Florida. This
Compare Butterflies page shows the Monarch,
Queen, Viceroy, and Soldier Butterflies together so you can see
their differences for yourself.