What would be a good planting site for butterfly weed?


What would be a good planting site for butterfly weed?


The butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a member of the milkweed family.  Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and produce flat-topped clusters of bright orange flowers from July through September.  Their flowers attract several butterfly species, hence the common name.  


Butterfly weed is an easy-to-grow, low maintenance, long-lived perennial.  It performs best in full sun.  Plants should receive at least 6 hours of direct sun per day.  Plants grow well in a wide range of soils.  However, good soil drainage is a must.  Once established, the butterfly weed possesses excellent heat and drought tolerance.  Because of the butterfly weed’s long taproot, transplanting is difficult.  Carefully choose a planting site and don’t disturb it.  Also, the butterfly weed emerges slowly in spring.  To prevent possible injury, mark the planting site and don’t cultivate in the area until the plant emerges.  

Cultivars to Plant

While most butterfly weeds produce bright orange flowers, a few plants in the ‘Gay Butterflies’ mixture have yellow or red flowers.  The cultivar ‘Hello Yellow’ has yellow flowers. 


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