Monarch Chrysalis

Monarch Chrysalis


The current rating for Butterfly Milkweed is:

Garden Rating
Nectar Rating
Caterpillar Rating

If you have experience growing butterfly milkweed, we would like your opinion. Let us know how it performed in your butterfly garden. Your comments will help other butterfly gardeners in your region to create better butterfly gardens:


This plant has been rated at the following locations:

Warren, NJ: visited by Coral Hairstreaks, Juniper Hairstreaks, and Great Spangled Fritillaries

Broward, FL: self seeds, requires no care and is easily obtained in local nurseries. When plants look ragged from weather damage, cut stems back to a few inches. Cut portions of the plant can be rooted be placing the lower section in water for a number of weeks.

Butterfly Milkweed - Asclepias tuberosa


Found growing wild in dry fields and along sunny road sides, the showy flowers of butterfly milkweed make it an essential mid-summer garden plant. Due to a lack of milky sap that is common to all other milkweeds, butterfly milkweed can be used as a cut flower.

Coral Hairstreak on Butterfly MilkweedButterfly milkweed is easiest to establish as a young plant but due to its large taproot, mature plants of butterfly milkweed are not easy to move. Plants are also easy to grow from seed but can take three years before the first flowers appear. Once established, butterfly milkweed will self seed if seedpods are not removed.

Importance as a caterpillar food source: Like many milkweeds, butterfly milkweed is an important food source for Monarch caterpillars. Queens, with their southern U.S. range, also uses butterfly milkweed as a food source as do Soldiers whose range is restricted primarily to southern Florida and southern Texas.

Some research has shown that Monarch caterpillars that feed on butterfly milkweed are not as toxic to predators as caterpillars that feed on other milkweed species.

Importance as a butterfly nectar source: Once established in the garden, butterfly milkweed plants will produce a large number of bright orange blooms that are attractive to a variety of butterflies. The large number of blooms per plant make butterfly milkweed an essential butterfly garden plant.

Butterfly Milkweed Cultural Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zone
3 to 9
Bloom Period
July to August
Bloom Color
Plant Height
12 to 36 inches
Plant Spread
24 to 36 inches
Light Exposure
Soil Moisture
Average to dry
Animal/Pest Problems
Deer resistant, aphids may be a problem


Native range for Butterfly Milkweed

Native Range for Butterfly Milkweed- Asclepias tuberosa