Butterfly weed produces bright orange, flat-topped flower clusters in early June. Flowering goes on for many weeks. Green pods full of seeds with silky white hairs follow the flowers. This is an essential plant if you want to attract a variety of butterflies to your property, especially Monarchs.
Host and nectar plant for Monarch butterflies
Great nectar source for many other butterflies
Seedpods are often used in dried flower arrangements
Thrives in sun in average or dry soil
Prefers moist, rocky soils, but will grow in dry situations too
Sandy soils and upland woods; New Hampshire to South Dakota south to Arizona, Mexico and Florida.
Map Credit: The Biota of North America Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)
Milkweeds are the host plant for Monarch butterflies. The entire lifecycle of these butterflies, from caterpillars to adults, revolves around this plant.
Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. Like many milkweeds, plants are slow to emerge from the ground in spring.
Mature Size: 18-30in. Tall x 12-24in. Wide
Hardiness Zone: 3-8
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Choosing the Right Plants
American Beauties Offer Solution Based Plant Collections to Help you Choose
Quick Tips for Choosing Plants:
Planting a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials and vines increases biodiversity and gives wildlife a source for food, cover and nesting
Choose a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees so birds and other wildlife will always be able to find shelter
Plant trees and large shrubs where they will block winter winds from the house and shade it in summer, that will save energy and lower your carbon footprint
Try your best to buy plants that were grown locally, your independent garden center will be your best bet
Think about ultimate height and width of the plant you choose, make sure it will fit the space you have for it when it's reached maturity
Plant nectar plants in groups, to attract butterflies and other beneficial insects more easily
Ask for help if you need it. Most garden centers either have a landscape designer on staff or they can give you a reference of a designer that is adept at native plant wildlife gardening. There will be upfront costs but they are small when compared to having to redo a landscape that wasn't what you really wanted
Our Plant Tags Hold the Secrets to Success
Choosing the right plants for your garden can seem like a daunting task but we’re here to help. Our horticulturists have spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing our beautiful, American Beauties plant tags to help you be successful. First of all, when you see an American Beauties branded pot at your garden center you can be confident that the plant is native to your area and a responsible choice.
When you look at our tag you’ll find information about the plants natural habitat. That will give you a clue to how it will work in your backyard. For instance if the plant is naturally founded and moist, shade and you have full sun, it’s not the plant for you. The “Features” section gives you an overview or plant description so you’ll know what to expect. While the “Benefits” section talks about the plants strong suits and how the plant will benefit wildlife.
A Special Note About Exposure
Full sun:Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day Partial shade:Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine Shade:Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day. Having said that even shade loving plants will struggle in extremely deep shade.