Butterfly Garden Plant Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Milkweed
Other common names for this plant include
Butterfly 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 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.
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
|USDA Hardiness Zone||3 to 9|
|Bloom Period||July to August|
|Plant Height||12 to 36 inches|
|Plant Spread||24 to 36 inches|
|Soil Moisture||Average to dry|
|Animal/Disease Problems||Deer Resistant, aphids may be a problem|
Plant rating scale ranges from 0 to 3. Plants rating 3 are the most useful for butterfly gardens. For more details on the ratings, see Native Plant Ratings
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.