Showy Perennial Milkweed!

Native from East Texas through much of the eastern United States, Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed) is one of the most charming of our little perennials. The plants themselves grow to be basketball-sized, and the small flowers are borne in 3- to 4-inch clusters each year in late spring and early summer.

Butterflies love this plant, hence its common name. Not only do they suck its nectar, but the larvae of Monarch butterflies dine on its leaves. (Don’t spray them!)

Buy butterfly weeds in 6-inch pots and gallon containers. It is slow to start from seeds, and it’s difficult to transplant like you do other perennials. Nurseries may still have potted supplies, or make note to look for them next spring.

Give it full or nearly full sunlight and well-prepared, loose garden soil. Keep it moist, and feed it lightly. Other than that, stand back and prepare to make a new friend.

Posted by Neil Sperry
Back To Top