We have taken the Monarch under our wing!

Through its designation as a Monarch City USA, Dade City, FL has pledged to help the Monarch Butterfly.

You can help by planting a Monarch Butterfly Haven right in your backyard! Ann Swinford MBH

Join Us!

You can support this community effort by planting Milkweed and having your garden certified as a Monarch Butterfly Haven. A Dade City Monarch Butterfly Haven will contain milkweed and other larval plants to support the breeding process, nectar plants to feed the adult butterflies, and will be maintained using sound organic gardening practices (no pesticides). Upon certification, you will be awarded a Certificate with your name and garden location from the Dade City Garden Club and will be given the opportunity to purchase a sign to display in your yard.

Download an application here!

Requirements for Certification as a Dade City Monarch Butterfly Haven

  • Garden must contain at least 20 Plants total.
  • Garden must contain a minimum of three (3) different Host Plants with milkweed (minimum of five (5) plants) being one of them.
  • Garden must contain at least five (5) different Nectar Plants, preferably more than one of each type.
  • Garden must be pesticide free.

Creating a healthy habitat for Monarchs and other pollinators is easy if you follow these simple guidelines.


Most pollinators feed on flower nectar from plants that grow in sunny areas. Ideally your butterfly garden should receive at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.


Planting milkweed remains the easiest and best thing that the average gardener can do to help Monarchs. Milkweed is where the butterflies lay their eggs and the only thing that the caterpillars will eat. Plant native species when you can. Ask when purchasing plants if they use commercial pesticides or fertilizers or grow from seed yourself. 


The widespread use of insecticides and herbicides has contributed to the decline of the Monarch population (as well as critically endangering other important pollinators). Pesticides especially are non-discriminatory, and when you spray them to kill one type of insect, you kill them all. It is crucial to avoid the use of any toxins in your Monarch habitat. Turn instead to organic pest and weed control methods, fertilizers, and soils.


Fill your garden with as many nectar-rich flowering species as possible, planning for early, middle, and late bloom times to ensure that there is a constant supply of seasonal food. Planting in clusters will make it easier for wildlife to spot the plants that you have planted to attract them. Protection from weather as well as predators can be achieved by planting densely and surrounding the garden with shrubs and vines.


The good news is that even a small container garden of plants that support the full life cycle of the Monarch provides a beneficial habitat, but the more area you can devote to garden beds planted with nectar and host plants, the more success at attracting Monarchs you'll have. Try for a bed that is at least ten by ten feet, or multiple smaller beds.

Certify your Garden!Pat Goodwin MBH

Download an application here.