Common Milkweed/Butterfly Flower
Observe the monarch butterfly life cycle right in your garden!
This heirloom species provides food and habitat for monarch butterflies and is an essential host plant for their caterpillars.
In summer, pink to purplish or white flowers are followed by decorative seed pods that are beautiful in dried arrangements.
Robust, shrub-like perennial spreads by underground rhizomes.
Native throughout much of the eastern and central United States.
Sap is toxic; avoid eye/skin contact and do not ingest.
Botanical Name: Asclepias syriaca
Native: Eastern 2/3 of the U.S. and Canada
Hardiness: Perennial in USDA zones 3 and warmer
Plant Dimensions: 24"–36" tall
Variety Information: Individual flowers ½" long, born in pink to purplish or white clusters.
Exposure: Full sun
Bloom Period: Summer
Attributes: Attracts Pollinators, Drought Tolerant, Deer Resistant
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, or fall for spring germination.
When to Start Inside: 6 to 8 weeks before your average last frost date.
Days to Emerge: 14–28 days
Seed Depth: ¼"
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 12"
Thinning: When 3" tall, thin to 1 every 12"
Harvesting: For longest vase life, cut flowers when 1/2–2/3 of petals are open.
Sear the stem end with a flame to prevent the sap from sealing the stem.
Wear gloves; milkweed sap can cause skin and eye irritation and can be toxic if ingested.