Perhaps the single most important thing home gardeners can do to support monarch butterfly populations is to plant perennial milkweed. This native heirloom plant provides food and habitat for monarch butterflies and the plant is an essential food source for monarch caterpillars. In summer, deep orange blooms look beautiful in the garden and provide a wonderful source of nectar for a range of beneficial insects.
Butterfly milkweed has smaller leaves than common or swamp milkweed and the flowers are a dark shade of orange. The plants generally grow to approximately 24" tall. Butterfly milkweed is a perennial plant and spreads through underground rhizomes as well as through scattered seeds. We grow our milkweed in border and peripheral areas of the garden where the plants have room to spread into a monarch nursery.
NOTE: Sap is mildly toxic; avoid eye/skin contact and do not ingest.
Origin:We harvested the parent seed of our milkweed from the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary in Asheville, NC.
(Approximately 30 seeds per packet)
Planting Instructions: Seeds germinate best when COLD STRATIFIED. Simply place seeds on a damp paper towel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about 30 days before sowing seeds in the garden or starting in containers to transplant in spring. Seeds can also be sown in the garden in fall where cold stratification will occur naturally in winter. Sow seeds or transplant seedlings in full sun and keep well watered until established. Milkweed may not bloom in the first year but will perennialize and bloom in the second year and for years to come.