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
If you enjoy the antics of hummingbirds, be sure to include a few Baja red fairy dusters in your garden. Their bright red, tufted flowers provide year around color and nectar, although the showiest displays are from spring through fall. Baja red fairy duster has ferny green foliage, and an open irregular form that lends itself well to natural landscapes. Mature plants might reach a size of 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. Baja red fairy duster can be used in full sun or part shade, and is tolerant of most soil types. Temperatures below 20° F can cause some twig damage. Any shaping or pruning should be done in the late spring,but be careful not to overdue it, as heavy pruning will inhibit flower production!
Baja fairy duster (Calliandra californica) is a must have for the desert garden. There is so much to love about this shrub.
Welcome to Ramblings From a Desert Garden…
Calliandra californica (Baja fairy duster), is an evergreen, woody shrub which is native to Baja California, Mexico. In Spanish, the plant is also known vernacularly as tabardillo, zapotillo or chuparosa. The flowers, which appear in early summer, have clusters of red stamens. The shrub is usually between 0.6 and 1.8 metres in height and has bipinnate leaves. The leaves have been described as “fern-like.” Leaves close at night time.
C. californica is cold tolerant to temperatures of 22 degrees Fahrenheit, though its roots will tolerate temperatures as low as five degrees Fahrenheit. It grows best in full sun. C. californica is very drought tolerant, needing only 10 inches of water every year. However, additional watering will encourage C. californica to bloom through summer and again in the fall.
Propagation of C. californica is done through “acid scarification” or vegetative cutting. Seed pods from this plant look like “snow peas” and when ripe, they explode. The pods are flat and about 2 inches long. After ejecting seeds, the curled open pods remain attached to the plant for some time.
C. californica attracts both bees and hummingbirds.
Along with many other legumes and leadworts (Plumbago), it is a host plant for the Marine Blue caterpillar (Leptotes marina).
In landscaping, it is suggested that C. californica is used in borders or foreground plantings, as an island accent or even in containers.
As a member of the pea family, Baja fairy duster fertilizes itself, so no fertilizer or soil amendments are needed for this relatively fuss-free shrub.
Commonly known as hellebores /ˈhɛlɨbɔərz/, the Eurasian genus Helleborus comprises approximately 20 species of herbaceous or evergreen perennial flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae, within which it gave its name to the tribe of Helleboreae. The scientific name Helleborus derives from the Greek name for H. orientalis, ἑλλέβορος helléboros, from elein “to injure” and βορά borá “food”. Many species are poisonous. Despite names such as “winter rose”, “Christmas rose” and “Lenten rose”, hellebores are not closely related to the rose family
Winter Project 🙂
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.
Fall-planted bulbs produce the first blooms of next year’s season. The bulbs spend the winter making roots and come up early in the spring.
- In the fall, you’ll find bulbs to purchase everywhere! Make sure you buy your bulbs from a reputable nursery, garden center, or catalog. Second-rate bulbs product second-rate flowers or don’t sprout at all.
- Plant anytime before the ground freezes. In the lower South, where you may not have hard freeze, early November is a good time to plant.
- See the chart below for type of bulbs by hardiness zone. In the warmer South, note that some bulbs need to be treated as annuals instead of perennials (e.g., tulips); they’ll bloom once and then they’re done. Still, they are a beautiful sight to behold and worth it! Other bulbs (e.g., daffodils) will act as perennials and come up year after year.
- For inspiration, visit our Flower Guides which include many common bulbs.
- Ideally, plant your bulbs soon after you purchase them.
- Select a site with lots of sun and well-drained soil. Work a few inches of compost in the soil.
- Plant bulbs generously in case some do not sprout. And plant them in random order and spacing for a more natural appearance. If you love groves of daffodils and blanketed landscapes of tulips, be prepared to buy and plant a large quantity of bulbs!
- In general, plant bulbs at a depth of three times the width of the bulb.
- After planting, apply fertilizer low in nitrogen, such as a 9-6-6 formulation. If your soil’s sandy, plant bulbs slightly deeper; in clay soils, slightly shallower.
- Water well after planting. Apply mulch to keep the weeds down and hold in moisture.
- Do you have voles or chipmunks? Consider planting your bulbs in a “cage” fashioned with chicken wire.
Bearded irises tend to become crowded every two to three years and cease to produce good blooms. Division and transplanting allows the clump to rejuvenate and also provides a way to multiply your iris. It isn’t difficult to do, but it is important to do it at the right time of year to ensure that the iris benefits most from the division.
The best time to plant or transplant iris is after flowering through August. Iris are one of the few perennials to transplant during the hottest part of the year. Established plantings of iris should be divided every 3-4 years or whenever the clump becomes crowded or when flowering decreases.
Bearded irises are relatively easy garden plants to grow and will give good results with a minimum of care, but like all plants, the better the culture the more magnificent the display. The following instructions are easy to implement and should lead to beautiful iris blooms year after year.