Posted: March 22, 2022

In this Maplegrove Magazine article, Adam Baker, technical advisor at the Davey Institute, discusses his research on milkweed plants and monarch butterflies.

butterfly in a garden

Can a single garden really make a difference? 

“Smaller might even be better when it comes to monarchs,” says Adam Baker, the technical advisor for the Davey Institute. Meaning, small urban gardens can make a large impact too. The key is to spatially arrange them in ways that can encourage reproduction in gardens.

Baker, who has a PhD. in pollinator ecology for conservation, has conducted research that shows large block plantings might not be as efficient as smaller plantings. “Perimeter and solitary milkweed plants generally get more eggs,” Baker says.

Baker’s research featured three garden plantings that were replicated six different times. One garden surrounded nectar-producing plants and ornamental grasses with a perimeter of milkweed plants. A second garden was the opposite—grasses and pollinators on the outside with milkweed plants in the inside. A third garden featured a mix of all three types of plants in a random patchwork arrangement.

To continue reading about Adam's research, click here

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