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Butterfly weed growing tips

 Butterfly weed growing tips and butterfly weed varieties

Gardeners who want to see butterflies in their gardens will plant Asclepias tuberosa (Asclepias tuberosa) for its yellow, orange, and red flowers and its green, narrow leaves from late spring to late summer. Native to the entire Midwest, across eastern North America, and the southern Rocky Mountains, butterfly weed grows in medium to dry grasslands and other open areas on gravelly or sandy soils. Some strains grow in clay, although most prefer well-drained soil. This perennial attracts pollinators and offers the desirable features of deer resistance and low maintenance. If you're lucky, monarch butterflies will find your plants and lay eggs on the leaves. The caterpillars (larvae) hatch and the developing larvae eat the leaves. After about two weeks, the fully developed caterpillar attaches itself to the plant and begins the metamorphosis process to become a chrysalis, from which the Monarch butterfly emerges. This continuous process begins in early summer and continues into fall as the last generation migrates to warmer climates.

'Hello Yellow '

Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow' grows in a cluster 1 to 2.5 feet tall and bears bright yellow to yellow-orange flowers from mid-spring to summer that attract many butterflies. Its leaves feed on monarch butterfly caterpillars. Zone 3-9

'Western Gold Mix '

Asclepias tuberosa 'Western Gold Mix' is a native of western Colorado, perfect for western gardeners with alkaline soils. Its striking orange flowers attract lots of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. This spring bloomer grows up to 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide. Zones 4-8

'Prairie Gold'

Asclepias tuberosa 'Prairie Gold' is a beautiful golden yellow butterfly weed native to Indiana. It is striking in mass plantings. It grows 24 inches tall and 15 inches wide and blooms in summer. Zones 4-9

'Gay Butterflies'

Asclepias tuberosa 'Gay Butterflies' offers gardeners a stunning color combination of orange, red, and yellow flowers. Flowers are borne in dense clusters from June to August on plants up to 30 inches tall. Zones 4-11

A garden plan for Butterfly weed

A no-fuss bird and butterfly garden project

This low-maintenance garden will bring lots of pollinators to your landscape. Tried-and-true favorites like catnip, butterfly weed, bee balm, and aster produce a ton of color all summer long while providing nectar, pollen, and seeds that attract wildlife, including butterflies, bees, and birds. All of these plants thrive in full sun and will continue to bloom through heat, humidity, and drought. Feel free to add a water source, such as a small birdhouse or birdbath

Butterfly garden project

Flowers in this scheme provide nectar for adult butterflies, while leafy food sources support larvae. The butterfly bush is in the program for a good reason: it attracts all kinds of butterflies. A few rocks among the plants provide comfortable spots for your winged visitors to bask in the sun, and a simple bird bath provides water. Butterflies are sun-loving creatures, just like the plants in this design, so be sure to place them in a garden that receives six or more hours of sun daily.


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