Butterfly Weed Milkweed
Butterflies are very attracted to Asclepias, hence the common name. A vigorous, hardy, and rugged grower, plants are about two feet tall and can become invasive. The spiky leafed stem carries large bracts of dozens of red buds that turn orange as they open. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil. An interesting and long-lasting cut flower, the seed pod can also be useful as an everlasting. Also known as Pleurisy root.
Perennial, zones 3-8
Germination: 14-30 days, cold treating aids germination
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 65-75ºF.
Seed Planting Depth: Sow ⅛-¼” deep
Starting Indoors: Start indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost. Cold treat seed by sowing into moist soil or paper towel, wrap in a clear plastic bag, and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Provide 65-75ºF soil temperatures until germination. Transplant new seedlings into individual biodegradable peat/cow pots/paper pots. This helps reduces root damage when transplanting. Transplant around the last frost date,12-18” apart.
Sowing Outdoors: Direct sow outdoors in early spring or early fall, spacing 3-5 seeds every 12".
Growth Habit: Upright
Height and Width: 20-24” by 18-24"
Spacing: 12-18” apart
Light Needs: Full sun
Soil Needs: Average, well-drained
Approximate days to flower from seed: Blooms in the second year. May bloom the first season when started early indoors, mid to late summer thereafter.
Uses: Wildflower and cottage gardens, cut flowers, deer resistant, low maintenance, attracts butterflies and beneficials
Care: Water seedlings regularly until established. Deadheading encourages a second bloom and reduces self-seeding.