Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed. Whether it is asclepias currassavica or asclepia tuberosa it is beautiful. From what I can tell, asclepia tuberosa is a native, hardy perennial to North America while from the same family, asclepia currassavica is a native to South America. One website said it is originally a native to South America, but now considered native to Texas.

Butterfly weed

While doing some internet research I found several other common names that this beauty is also known: Bloodflower Butterfly Weed, Orange Milkweed, Showy Mexican Milkweed, Swallow-wort, Scarlet Milkweed.

Butterfly Weed about to bloom

Hardiness Zones: USDA Zone 7  to USDA Zone  10

Height: Grows 30-36” tall. Space 30-36” apart.

Exposure: Plant in Full Sun.

Bloom Time: Blooms mid-spring to late fall.

Water Requirements: Water 2-3 times per week until established.
Prefers a well-drained soil.

Butterfly Weed is also a larval host plant for the Monarch Butterfly.

I started my butterfly weed from seeds earlier this spring and then transplanted it in an area that is shaded in the morning and then get full afternoon sun. I will mention that I needed to water it ever other day  for several months and then I was able to cut back to watering every three days. Towards the end of September I was able to cut back on the water again as our nighttime temps were dropping into the high 70’s.

Butterfly Weed starting to bloom

It started to bloom 29 Sept and my three stalks are 24″ tall. Not bad for a terribly hot summer without any rain at all. I will collect seeds and add more of this beautiful plant to my gardens in the spring. I have also noticed there are new shoots coming up at the base of two of my stalks.  That is a good sign. I think it is happy out there in my garden. I know I am certainly happy to have it growing out there.

Butterfly Weed

Sincerely, Emily

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10 Responses to Butterfly Weed

  1. Joanna says:

    What a beautiful post Emily and a glorious plant sitting there in that very dry looking soil you have. The leaves look glossy, presumably that helps keep moisture in the plant. I wonder how it would grow here in the UK? Is it something that spreads very easily. I might have a look and see if anyone imports the seed and try it next year. Heartwarming to see those gorgeous flowers on a grey October day, thank you 😀

    • They are beautiful. As far as spreading goes, in nature, I know as the seed pod opens(milkweed family), the seeds will blow and spread. To make sure I get more in the place I want them I will take seeds and help it out by planting some in the spring in pots

  2. Jane says:

    Just looking around there, whoa doggie you are dry! I knew it was bad, but I am surprised your trees have been able to hang in there. Lets hope you have a nice wet winter.

    • The rain we just had has done wonders (but not enough to pull us out of drought). The fruit trees I keep going with water. The cedar/juniper’s are hanging on, but over the past few years I have watched more and more of their branches die. Everything else, I am just crossing my fingers! I know they are all very stressed. The Red Bud tree I think it gone. Will see what it does in the spring, but it has shown major signs of stress for 2+ years. I am amazed at how healthy the other trees look. Our neighbors have lost numerous large live oak trees this year. I have one very young live oak on our property and I hope it pulls through. I had plans of planting more shade trees this winter, but with water restrictions and not enough rain, I will wait (possible a few years) until things start to change.

  3. zonnah says:

    I recently read about milkweed and decided I was going to try growing it next year. Seeing your pictures really make me want to try now 🙂

  4. karenish says:

    Oh, what a coincidence! I just dug out my butterfly weed seeds to plant in the newly reworked front flower bed, and dropped a couple of seeds around yesterday! I have no idea of whether they will sprout, or whether they’re in the best spot for long-term placement. Also, I was a little concerned about how long they would take to bloom. The package says it could take up to three years. I’m pleased to see that yours even bloomed the first year!

    • Oh that is great. I have heard that it usually takes two year for blooms. I guess I have been lucky. Even if they didn’t bloom the first year, it would be worth the wait. They are beautiful and will be a great help for the butterflies and hummingbirds when they do.

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