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perennial

Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa

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Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) at Gertens

Butterfly Weed flowers

Butterfly Weed flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) at Gertens

Butterfly Weed in bloom

Butterfly Weed in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  24 inches

Spread:  18 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  3a

Brand:  Gertens

Description:

Native prairie plant. Bright orange flowers appear mid- to late-summer. Drought resistant plant.

Ornamental Features

Butterfly Weed has fragrant orange flat-top flowers with gold overtones at the ends of the stems from mid to late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Butterfly Weed is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Butterfly Weed is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Butterfly Weed will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is native to parts of North America.

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Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Naturalizing 
Applications
Flowers  Winter Value  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features