You are invited to register your pollinator friendly garden.

Planting Guide (post)

Host Plants

Host plants are needed to ensure a full life cycle from laying eggs to a reliable food source.

Monarch butterfly 

  • Milkweeds – increase the chance of monarchs staying on property longer
    • Aquatic milkweed
    • White milkweed
    • Butterfly milkweed for the Southeast region

Swallowtail butterfly 

  • Trees Caterpillar on fennel
    • Yellow poplar
    • Black cherry
    • Plum
    • Red maple (Eastern tiger swallowtail)
    • Pawpaws (Zebra swallowtail)
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Fennel (Black swallowtail)
Caterpillar on fennel

Nectar Plants

Recommended to have four varieties of flowering and strong-scented plants that bloom throughout the season. Plant in a group for a splash of color to attract butterflies.

  • Annuals: verbena, zinnias, salvia, marigolds, cleome, Sweet William
  • Perennials: Black-eyed Susan, goldenrod, purplse coneflower, salvia, pholx, bee balm
  • Additional: azalea, butterfly weed, lantana, crab apple

Garden Features

  • Create a designated path to avoid stepping on plants & butterflies
  • Recommended size: 100 sq. ft. that can be split among several sites
  • Shelter from predators & the elements
    • Plant milkweeds & nectar plants close together
    • Butterfly houses (if natural shelter is not available)
  • Puddling sites (moist sandy soil/rocks in shallow water with sand)
  • Hummingbird feeders
  • Plant identification signs

Additional Tips

  • At least six hours of sunlight per day
  • Have 10 plants of two or more species of milkweed
  • Avoid pesticides:
    • Marigolds, petunias, and mint repel pests
    • Encourage ladybugs

To learn more about the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail, contact Annette Wise at plainsed[at]

Rosalynn Carter’s Butterfly Garden, established April 2013, is the beginning of the trail, Mrs. Carter established her garden to bring awareness to conserving butterflies, their habitats and for her love of nature.

Resource Finder

Type: Audio

Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm memories (Stewardship)

Jimmy Carter describes his appreciation of the earth and the importance of honoring nature’s gifts by preserving the land and sustaining wildlife habitat for future generations to enjoy. Credit: Audio featured at the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm in Plains, Georgia.

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Type: Post Message from President Carter


“I have never been happier, more exhilarated, at peace, rested, inspired and aware of the grandeur of the universe and the greatness of God than when I find myself in a natural setting not much […]

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Type: Link

Monarch Joint Venture

A nonprofit organization that supports a national partnership of federal and state agencies, nonprofits, community groups, businesses, and academic programs working together to conserve monarch butterflies and other pollinators. The MJV focuses on habitat conservation, education, science and building partnerships.

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Type: Link

The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project

A citizen science project involving volunteers from across the United States and Canada in monarch research. Volunteers collect long-term data on larval monarch populations and milkweed habitat. The project focuses on monarch distribution and abundance during the breeding season in North America.

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Type: Link

Journey North

provides an easy entry point to citizen science, with simple protocols, strong online support, and immediate results. Reported sightings, including monarchs, are mapped in real-time as waves of migrations move across the continent.

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