Millions of Monarch Butterflies are headed straight for our Lowcountry Sea Islands

The Monarchs are Coming! The Monarchs are coming! Get ready, y’all, the Lowcountry will soon have a front row seat to one of the greatest natural events on Earth: the annual monarch butterfly migration.

Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, monarchs have left their winter home in Mexico and making their way back to the northern United States and Canada. Even better: their flight path home goes directly over the Lowcountry – meaning millions of monarchs will soon flutter through our area!


Photo by Julie Garrison


This interactive map from the U.S. Forest Service indicates we’re only a few short weeks away from the start of the big show here in coastal South Carolina. By the second week in May, we should be swarming with butterflies!



What’s so special about monarch butterflies?

Monarchs are the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do, and they’re the only insect that migrates to a warmer climate that is 2,500 miles away each year. And while it’s a one generation journey south to Mexico, it takes three to four generations to make the return trip all the way back north.

And while you’re waiting for the monarchs to arrive, check out this amazing Google Earth tour of migration of the eastern population of monarch butterflies in North America and the people that help them out along the way.


Monarch Butterfly Photo by Beaufort, SC Local Photographer, Julie Garrison


Here are a few tips to attract butterflies to your Beaufort garden this Spring…

  1. Ditch the pesticides.
  2. Grow native plants.
  3. Keep the sun in mind.
  4. Plant the right colors.
  5. Plant the right milkweed.
  6. Create butterfly spas.