Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Weed

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Item #: 335

Zones: 3a to 9b

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 24" tall

Culture: Sun

Origin: United States

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

The 2017 Perennial Plant Association plant of the year, Asclepias tuberosa is a heat and drought tolerant US native, that can be found in all but seven Northwest states. This easy-to-grow perennial forms 2' tall x 2' wide clumps of upright stems, clothed with fuzzy, narrow green leaves. Clumps of Asclepias tuberosa are topped with branched terminal clusters of brilliant orange flowers, which are enjoyed by guess what... Monarch butterflies! The flowers, which are also highly prized by all kinds of bees, are followed by unusual seed pods that burst open to spread their silk laden seed. Good drainage and plenty of sun are the keys to success.


Asclepias tuberosa is a maintenance free perennial, requiring virtually no care in the garden. When the old foliage dies back in late summer, little remains but a few dried stalks that can be easily pulled off.

Growing Conditions:

Full sun for at least six hours, and a very well-draining soil is the key to success. Butterfly weed has no tolerance for soils that hold much moisture, or drain poorly. As a rule, the worse you treat butterfly weed, the better it thrives.

Natural Impact:

Asclpeias tuberosa is prized by a number of pollinators such as native bees, but it is also required by the larvae of monarch butterflies. So, if you see the foliage is being eaten, do not spray. Butterfly weed is designed for its foliage to be eaten and quickly resprout.