Milkweed has become a mainstay in many gardens as more and more of us join the backyard campaign to rebuild our Western monarch population. But it takes more than milkweed to support the life of the butterfly.
MonarchWatch recommends diversifying your milkweed patch with at least four additional nectar plants. Keep the plants cozy, but not crowded. In addition to providing food for adult butterflies, planting milkweed and nectar plants close together helps provide shelter for monarchs at earlier life stages--egg, caterpillar and chrysalis. And when your milkweed goes dormant, neighboring nectar plants can continue attracting other pollinators.
Here's a list of native plants recommended by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Note their blooming periods, so you can choose a mix for nearly year-round color and nectar.