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Butterfly Weed

Build a buffet for the butterflies!

Keeping butterfly populations happy and robust is a team effort, one that cannot be achieved by plantings of Common Milkweed alone. Although related, Butterfly Weed is a different species, with a wider native range and a habit and growth schedule that is all its own. It tends to flower for a longer duration of time than Common Milkweed, and it lacks milky sap. The nectar within its blooms attracts butterflies of all types, and the larvae of monarchs feed on the leaves. Long live the lepidoptera!

Growing Instructions

For spring plants, cold-stratify seeds by sowing directly into soil from fall through winter. Or, sow 8-10 weeks before last frost in deep seed-starting pots about ¼" deep, in rich, damp soil. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 weeks. After refrigeration, move to a 70-degree, well-lit spot for germination, which usually occurs in 14-21 days. Transplant outdoors after frost in an area where plants can naturalize and live for years. Perennial (plants may bloom late in the first year, or not until the second year).

Quick Facts:


Days to Maturity 365 days
Planting Depth ¼"
Spacing in Row 15"
Spacing Between Rows 18"
Sun Preference Full Sun

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