Save America’s Wildlife

There’s a monarch caterpillar in my yard

“My biggest gardening goal is finally accomplished!”

Dalah Carretero | Used by permission
A backyard caterpillar

Dalah Carretero is a gardener (and also my niece). Four years ago, she planted narrowleaf milkweed in her garden. She got the seed from a nonprofit in northern California that focuses on butterfly conservation. 

Ever since, she’s been growing the native milkweed, hoping upon hope that she would soon see a monarch caterpillar. This year she finally got one. 

She texted: “I’m going to check on him every day!!! Ahhhhhh, I literally almost started crying when I found him! Monarchs are my lifelong favorite.” 

Dalah added that seeing monarch butterflies is “one of my earliest memories!”

Congratulations, Dalah! And for anyone else wanting to share in the joy and help monarch numbers recover, check out our guide on where, when and how to plant the only food monarch caterpillars eat — milkweed

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