Butterfly weed is a very striking native perennial and one of our most popular plants. It is difficult to transplant from the wild--especially when people dig it up while in full bloom. However, our nursery stock ( that we grow from seed) is easy to establish in your yard or flowerbed.
Milkweeds are host plants for the monarch butterfly, and butterfly weed seems to be the poster child for attracting monarchs to the landscape. While monarch caterpillars will devour the foliage, deer tend to avoid it because it is bitter and nasty.
It was important medicinally to native Americans and has been used to treat bronchitis, pleurisy, and other lung ailments.
Uses: butterflies, pollinators, showy flowers, host plant, medicinal
Bloom time: June & July
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Space: 1.5 to 2.5 feet
Sun: Full sun to light shade
Seed: Much of the seed is ready to germinate, but cold moist stratification will help to ensure that all the seed germinate. Sow seed anytime November through February or stratify in the refrigerator with moist potting soil or sand for 2 to 4 weeks.
- 200 seeds per packet
- 5,625 seeds per ounce
- 1 ounce per 200 square feet
- 1 lb. per 3,000 square feet