Butterfly Sanctuary

Coming Summer 2024

Elle’s Flower Farm is a Certified Monarch Waystation and supports the effort to increase the Monarch population by providing butterflies a safe place to grow.  In the sanctuary you will see the different stages of the butterfly lifecycle.

Caterpillars require milkweed as food but the adults will consume nectar from many different flowering plants. There are many species of milkweed, and monarch caterpillars eat most of them. Because different milkweed species grow in different regions, there are regional differences in what they eat.

Monarchs west of the Rocky Mountain Range overwinter in California along the coast. There are many roost sites along the California coast. The coastal forests provide a similar microhabitat to the mountains in Mexico where the monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains overwinter.

Typically, monarchs live between 2 and 6 weeks. The last generation of the year (the late summer butterflies) go into what is called reproductive diapause, which means they cannot reproduce. Once spring arrives, the monarchs become mature and reproduce starting the new first generation that make their way north. These monarchs can live much longer for two reasons. They are not using energy to reproduce, and they are in a very cool location. Cool temperatures slow their metabolism, allowing them to live longer.

Monarch and other butterflies flutter freely around visitors, and caterpillars will grow safely from predators within our screened in sanctuary. This is a living, dynamic environment in which a variety of host plants nourish the residents and new arrivals emerge from their chrysalides, dry their wings, and begin their very first flight! Truly an amazing sight to see!

Entrance fee to tour the sanctuary is $3, children under 12 are free.

When the time is right, we will have a butterfly release and all are welcome to join us for free as we send them off safely for migration to Mexico!