Free Milkweeds for Schools & Non-Profits

Monarchs and pollinators need our help due to habitat loss.

If your school or non-profit educational organization is interested in this conservation measure, we can help you create a habitat for monarchs and pollinators. Please apply using this form:

A link to a sample form is provided below to allow you to gather all materials prior to completing the application.

Who will be considered for free milkweeds?
Applicants that demonstrate the following will be given higher rankings:

  • Schools and Educational Non-Profits will be given highest priority
  • Educational goals of garden clearly described
  • A clear, long-term maintenance plan for the garden space
  • Adequate space (>100 square feet) and light (>6 hrs per day)
  • Spring/Summer/Fall nectar sources existing or to be added in addition to milkweed
  • Administrative support
    – Demonstrate in writing that landscape crews will not pull the plants or re-purpose the space in the foreseeable future
  • You will commit to sending an evaluation of the garden success and spring/summer/fall photos of the planting and maintenance of the garden
    – We will send a survey in the Fall for photo submissions and garden evaluations
  • All application materials must be complete prior to review by Monarch Watch

Once you have applied, save the confirmation email that you receive. If you do not receive a confirmation, your form was not submitted! Answer all questions to the best of your ability.

Your application progress cannot be saved mid-way through, so we have created a sample form with the questions for your review, which can be found here: If you have all of the materials ready when you sit down to apply, the application will not take as long (some materials may take a few days or more to collect).

Questions? Email us at

Thank you for your interest in restoring habitat for monarchs and pollinators!

If your organization qualifies, we will provide a free flat of 32 milkweed plugs as well as guidance on how to create a new habitat or enhance an existing garden. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has provided funds for this project.

Clear, digital photos, maps of the garden and a letter of support are required for consideration. You will be prompted to upload these documents.
Applications will be reviewed in the order that they are received.

What’s a “plug?”
The native milkweed that is awarded to qualified applicants comes in “plugs.” These are live plants that have been grown in a restoration nursery. The plants are often trimmed to increase the root mass, or are trimmed for shipping. This does not harm the plants, and can actually benefit them. Unlike nursery plants, restoration plants are grown for habitat restoration, not for aesthetic value at the time of planting.

Aphids and many other greenhouse pests are herbivores. They may be on the plants because the greenhouse is growing the plants for herbivores (monarch caterpillars), and therefore they can’t treat the plants with pesticides. Sometimes, when the plants arrive, they have been trimmed and they have aphids, so they look unlike plants you would get from a local plant distributor. Please plant them and tend to them. They will recover, and the aphids will probably diminish if not disappear.