Monarchs in Salt Lake City Utah

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I see common milkweed in many places growing wild but rarely find Monarch caterpillars on them. Is our climate too cold for them? Would I be successful in attracting them to a few milkweed plants in my yard? (I don't have a lot of space.)

I have found some caterpillars around Labor Day in our state. Is that the time I should look for them each year, or do they hatch from eggs all summer long?

Karen says:
Salt lake City shouldn't be too cold. I live in Minnesota where it is very cold in the winter and we have plenty of Monarchs. I would try some milkweed plants in your yard and see if you can attract the monarchs. You could try either tropical milkweed from seed or you could get a perennial milkweed plant like swamp milkweed if it is available in the nurseries near you.

Here in Minnesota, the Monarchs have about 3 broods in the summer. The final brood is the one that migrates for the winter (these would be the ones you see about Labor Day). I have understood that the monarch butterflies west of the Rockies migrate to the California coastline, but I just read that Utah monarchs could migrate either to California or Mexico.

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Monarchs in Smithfield
by: Bryan

When I was a tyke (sometime between 1976-1979) I lived in Smithfield, Utah (near Logan). Monarch butterflies were abundant, and we had a unit about them in school. I suppose it was part of a mass migration.

I too have looked for them in vain in SLC. I suppose one or more of the following things is true: 1) They don't pass through SLC on their migration routes. 2) There are a lot fewer butterflies now due to environmental blah blah. 3) We just haven't been looking during the right years.


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