Asclepias tuberosa--Butterfly Weed

By The Old House Web

Asclepias tuberosa--Butterfly Weed

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Butterfly weed is a member of the milkweed family. The plants grow to two feet tall and flower from July to September. The flower colors are orange, red and yellow. The plant will not flower freely until well established. The best sites have exposure to sun or partial shade and almost any soil. The plant tolerates dry soil but not heavy soil. Once established do not disturb butterfly weed unnecessarily. Butterfly weed is slow to start growth in the spring. Mark its location to prevent damage to easily injured dormant crowns. A taproot makes transplanting difficult.

Propagation is by seed or division in the spring. The seed germinates in 3 to 4 weeks at 70 to 75 degrees. Plants may be planted in a cold frame in spring or fall. Fresh seed may need chilling.

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