Organic gardener growing food and flowers, lovin' pollinators and birds.

Early return for monarch butterflies

The monarchs are back - making this growing season one of the earliest appearances since I started keeping track in 2017. 

Usually I do not find eggs on my milkweed until July. The exception is 2019, when I was able to raise and release butterflies in early July, meaning the eggs had to appear in June. 

Because there are many (many) ants on my milkweed, I decided to snip the stems and bring the eggs inside for now. Once they hatch, I'd like to move them outdoors to the patio so they have the natural light and temperature exposure. 

Monarch perches on a hydrangea leaf.
Monarch butterfly sighted in the front garden on May 28.

To be nerdy, here is my (limited) data:

2024 - First eggs May 29

2023 - First monarch sighted July 5 in the garden

2022 - No data (I believe I did not find any eggs in the garden this year)

2021 - First eggs July 9

2020- First eggs July 28

2019 - July 10 first release of raised butterfly for season (estimated that eggs were found in June)

2018 - First eggs July 20 

2017 - First eggs July 18 

Monarch egg on a cluster of milkweed buds.
Can you spot the monarch butterfly egg?


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