Uses ~ Butterfly gardens, meadows, prairies, or naturalized/native plant areas. Also effective in sunny borders. Whether massing plants in large drifts or sprinkling them throughout a prairie or meadow, butterfly weed is one of our showiest native wildflowers.
Asclepias tuberosa is a species of milkweed native to eastern North America. It is a perennial plant growing to 0.3–1 metre (1 ft 0 in–3 ft 3 in) tall, with clustered orange or yellow flowers from early summer to early fall. The leaves are spirally arranged, lanceolate, 5–12 cm long, and 2–3 cm broad.
This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun.
It is commonly known as butterfly weed because of the butterflies that are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar. It is also the larval food plant of the Queen and Monarch butterflies. Hummingbirds, bees and other insects are also attracted.
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Sometimes called pleurisy root, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a perennial wildflower grown for its showy, reddish-orange flower clusters and textured, lanceolate leaves. It thrives throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 10, where it is frequently added to butterfly gardens and native plant landscaping. Butterfly weed grows well from seeds, which must be harvested in late summer and sown after a lengthy chilling process. The seeds are viable and will germinate with little care, although they must be planted at the appropriate depth to ensure successful sprouting.
How to Plant Pleurisy Root Tubers
How to Grow Butterfly Weed in Your Garden
Culture and more informational links about plant 🙂
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Does well in poor, dry soils. New growth tends to emerge late in the spring. Plants are easily grown from seed, but are somewhat slow to establish and may take 2-3 years to produce flowers. Mature plants may freely self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open. Butterfly weed does not transplant well due to its deep taproot, and is probably best left undisturbed once established.
This showy plant is frequently grown from seed in home gardens. Its brilliant flowers attract butterflies. Because its tough root was chewed by the Indians as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments, Butterfly Weed was given its other common name, Pleurisy Root. Although it is sometimes called Orange Milkweed, this species has no milky sap.
Butterflyweed is a prairie plant with bright orange flowers and a long bloom time making it a nice plant to have around the garden. Flowers come in waves from June to early September on older plants. The way it grows it ends up looking like a bush. So far I’ve had plants go to three feet four inches, taller than advertised in the Park Seed catalog. It will bloom late the first year if started early and given enough sun. Some nurseries offer it in yellow. Some catalogs call it butterfly plant or butterfly flower because they don’t want to say “weed”. Butterflyweed is not the same thing as butterfly bush (Buddleia).
Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on these plants so by growing some you end up increasing the butterfly population. Butterflies also favor the nectar found in the flowers.
Mulch for the winter to prevent frost heaving. Plants need excellent drainage to overwinter. Plants are slow to emerge in spring.
- Serves as Host and Nectar plant
- Popular nectar source for many butterflies
- Attracts a wide range of beneficial pollinators
- Summer Blooming Plant
- Not considered invasive
- The thick, rugged leaves present a good place for chrysalis formation
- Make a nice cut flower for your home
- Deer resistant
A bog garden employs permanently moist (but not waterlogged) soil to create a habitat for plants and creatures which thrive in such conditions. It may exploit existing poor drainage in the garden, or it may be artificially created using pond liners or other materials to trap water in the area. Any such structure must allow a small amount of seepage to prevent the water stagnating. For instance, a pond liner must be pierced a few times. Typically a bog garden consists of a shallow area adjoining a pond or other water feature, but care must be taken to prevent water draining from a higher to a lower level. The minimum sustainable depth is 40–45 cm (16–18 in). Good drainage is provided by gravel placed over the liner, and the bog can be kept watered by using a perforated hose below the surface.
Creating a bog garden in your landscape is an enjoyable project that allows you to experiment with different plant species. So exactly what is a bog garden anyway? Bog gardens exist in nature in low-lying areas, or around ponds, lakes or streams. Bog garden plants love overly moist soil, which is waterlogged, but not standing. These marshy gardens make a lovely attraction in any landscape and can quickly turn an unused, water-logged spot in the yard into a wonderful scenic attraction.
Having a waterlogged or boggy bit of garden is not always inspiring and the immediate impulse may be to install drainage, but by working with nature it is possible to provide another really valuable habitat in your garden.
Do you have a spot in your yard which you despair of because it is poorly-drained and consistently moist? Why not consider turning a liability into an asset by creating an intentional wetland?
Garden with cold frames. Providing a warm and protected space in your garden for spring seeds will allow you to get a head start on your gardening season. Cold frames, made of lumber or hay bales and old windows or glass shower doors, are the perfect way to control the climate in your nursery beds.
Make Your Own Coldframe
A coldframe is one of the easiest ways to extend your growing and harvest season.
A coldframe—simply an enclosed area with a clear top to let in sunlight—is one of the easiest ways to extend your growing and harvest season. All you need are a few basic supplies and your imagination.
Here’s what to do.
If you’ve already done the work of digging and prepping garden beds for spring and summer, why not make use of that space for nutritious veggies this fall? With a little effort, you can harvest garden goodies well into winter—even in snow!
Most garden greens and plenty of hardy veggies will thrive in cold weather, and many are actually sweetened by autumn’s dipping temperatures. Some cold-hardy plants, such as kale, mâche and spinach, will still be sending out tender, new leaves when it’s snowing outside. Root crops such as beets and carrots store well throughout the winter, providing four seasons of fresh flavor.
If you think winter gardening involves months of eating kale, think again. A wide variety of garden vegetables tolerate freezing just as well as, and some even better than, most kale varieties.
On my quest to select the top vegetables for winter gardening, I invited three other gardeners from around North America to share their favorites, based on their experiences growing in winter. All of these gardeners grow in colder climates than my own here in the Kentucky mountains (zone 6b), so if you think growing in winter is out of your reach, I hope you’ll be inspired to give it a try.
Cool-weather vegetable crops are a gardener’s best friend, although many people are still unfamiliar with them. Many of the vegetables grown in summer gardens actually do better in cooler weather when the average temperature is 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit; light frost can actually improve some cool-season crops.
Seeds Benefit From Careful Harvesting
After you’ve given your plants the help they needed to produce healthy seeds, you must harvest and store the seeds properly to keep them healthy until you are ready to plant them.
How you treat your seeds during harvest and storage can have a large impact on their viability and vigor when planted.
Now that it’s so easy to exchange seeds with people anywhere in the world via the internet, collecting and swapping seed has become almost a full-time job for me – certainly an obsession. Here’s how I harvest, save and exchange seeds.