Step 1: Plant your garden

It’s time to plant your I-Pollinate garden! By using a combination of annual ornamental flowers and milkweeds, you’ll create the perfect test site to contribute to research on the best annual plants for pollinators, as well as provide food for monarch butterfly larvae and track their survival.

  • Your bed should include a milkweed species (Asclepias incarnata) and your choice of six additional annual species from the list below.
  • When purchasing annuals, select annuals of the same color as listed below. Flower color does influence pollinator visitation, so keeping the color constant across beds will help decrease the variation between I-Pollinate gardens. (Click here for the I-Pollinate buying guide.)
  • Using a 4ft by 6ft oval design, evenly place between 3 to 5 plants of each annual species and 4 milkweed plants within the bed .
  • Plant each species next to one another either in a cluster or a row within the bed.
  • Try to place milkweed plants on the periphery of the bed in order to make searching for monarch eggs and caterpillars easier.
  • Please do not put mulch in the bed or spray the flowers with pesticides, as this may influence pollinator visitation.

Below is an example of a potential bed layout, with color denoting annual species, circles representing plants, and M’s signifying milkweeds.



M- Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

I-Pollinate annual species

  1. Yellow Zinnia (ex. Magellan Yellow)
  2. Pink Pentas (ex. Butterfly Deep Rose)
  3. Pink Cleome (ex. Pequeña Rosalita)
  4. Pink Geraniums (ex. Timeless Pink)
  5. White Lobularia/Alyssum (ex. Snow princess)
  6. White Begonia (ex. BabyWing White)
  7. Yellow Lantana (ex. Lucky Pot of Gold )
  8. Yellow Marigold (ex. Little Hero Yellow)
  9. Purple Scaevola (ex. Whirlwind Blue)
  10. Blue Lobelia (ex. Lucia Dark Blue)
  11. Purple Angelonia (ex. Archangel Purple)
  12. White Euphorbia (ex. Diamond Frost)