Butterfly Weed (Asclepias spp.)

Butterfly Weed Plant Features

An amazing native plant, butterfly weed (also called milkweed), develops showy flower heads of orange or yellow flowers. This rugged perennial, grows 1 to 3 feet tall and blooms nonstop throughout the summer. Butterfly weed is a must-have plant for butterfly lovers. The nectar-rich blooms attract a wide variety of butterfly species and the foliage is an important food source for Monarch butterfly larvae. Plant butterfly weed in a sunny spot, stand back, and watch the butterflies flock to your yard. The plants are generally rabbit- and deer-resistant, too!

Butterfly weed has been named Perennial Plant of the Year for 2017 by the Perennial Plant Association, a group of growers, breeders, writers, and other experts in the perennial field.

Butterfly Weed Questions?
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Butterfly Weed Growing Instructions

Butterfly weed is a sun worshipper so plant it where it will receive at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. Because the plants are prairie natives Butterfly weed isn't too fussy about soil or moisture, but do prefer well-drained, slightly moist soil. They are not heavy feeders so a light application of slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring is all you need to offer.

Butterfly weed can be touchy about being transplanted so try to place it in a spot where you won't have to move it later on.

Butterfly weed is not intended for human or animal consumption.
  • Water

    Medium water needs

  • Light

    Outside: Sun

  • Colors



  • Special Features

    Attracts butterflies

    Deer/rabbit resistant

Complement your Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Bush
Butterfly bush and Butterfly Weed both produce vast quantities of nectar-rich blooms that pollinators love.

Black-Eyed Susan
No summer garden is complete without a partnership of Black-eyed Susan and Butterfly Weed.

Our favorite varieties

Silky Scarlet Butterfly Weed

Silky Scarlet Butterfly Weed

Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Scarlet'

This tropical species is grown as an annual in regions that experience freezing temperatures and a perennial in frost-free regions. It grows 48 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Zones 10-11

Silky Gold Butterfly Weed

Silky Gold Butterfly Weed

Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Gold'

A tropical butterfly weed (or milkweed), Silky Gold produces golden-yellow flowers all the way until frost in the North and all year long in frost-free areas. It grows 30 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Zones 10-11

Silky Deep Red Butterfly Weed

Silky Deep Red Butterfly Weed

Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Deep Red'

Bearing rich, red-orange and yellow blooms, this tropical milkweed blooms until frost (or throughout the year in tropical regions). Like other varieties, it is a host for monarch butterfly caterpillars. It grows 30 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Zones 10-11 as a perennial; in colder areas, it makes a fine annual.