Milkweed, Showy - Asclepias speciosa
Asclepias speciosa. Perennial. 2'-4'.
Attracts Monarch Butterfly
Showy Milkweed produces clusters of lobed pink flowers which are the main food source for the Monarch butterfly. The bitter juices of this milkweed concentrate in the bodies of the butterflies and larvae thereby protecting them from predatory birds. Perennial, hardy zones 3-8. Mature plants bloom May to December.
Planting Directions: Sow seed indoors in sterile seed starting mix and just barely cover the seed. Moisten the seed mix and place in a plastic bag then put in refrigerator for 21 days. Remove, provide light and soil temperature of 50° to 75°. Direct sow outdoors in early spring when a frost is still possible or early fall. Transplant to garden in full sun to light shade, space plants 12” to 24” apart. Milkweed needs well drained soil, sandy is best. Grows in soil of average fertility and will tolerate dry soil. Pinch back young plants when about 6” tall to encourage branching. An easy plant to grow.