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how to plant butterfly weed seeds in fl

Asclepias can be divided into two groups for plant care; Asclepias tuberosa with orange (sometimes yellow) flowers and all the other species with pink (sometimes white) flowers.

Milkweed (Asclepias) seeds germinate best under warm soil conditions. The seeds need a cold, dormant period, known as stratification, to germinate.

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To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

Butterfly Weed is a perennial plant native to Florida, as well as eastern North America. It can grow over 3 feet but tends to stay around 2ft. Around the 2nd or 3rd year, A. tuberosa will bloom clusters of yellow/orange flowers that attract butterflies/pollinators. Although the the larval host plant for the Queen and Monarch butterflies, A. tuberosa does not have high concentrations of the milky sap, making it a last choice for the Monarch to lay her eggs, if other milkweeds are around. Butterfly Weed prefers dry/sandy soil and full sun, and does very well, here in Central Florida. Butterflyweed can adapt to almost any Florida soil type, as long as its well draining. Save the well amended areas for the fruits and veggies. Butterflyweed needs regular watering throughout it’s early days, but is very drought tolerant when established. Direct sow in the Fall to let the seeds over-winter for a Spring and Summer bloom. If planting seeds in the Spring or Summer, the seeds need 2-4 weeks of cold/wet stratification. The Butterflyweed makes a tap root up 4-6 inches long, that it will regrow from, year to year. Be aware of the large roots if transplanting.

Milkweed- Butterflyweed

Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Weed is a perennial plant native to Florida, as well as eastern North America. It can grow over 3 feet but tends to stay around 2ft. Around the 2nd or 3rd year, A. tuberosa will bloom clusters of yellow/orange flowers that attract butterflies/pollinators. Although the the larval host plant for the Queen and Monarch butterflies, A. tuberosa does not have high concentrations of the milky sap, making it a last choice for the Monarch to lay her eggs, if other milkweeds are around. Butterfly Weed prefers dry/sandy soil and full sun, and does very well, here in Central Florida. Butterflyweed can adapt to almost any Florida soil type, as long as its well draining. Save the well amended areas for the fruits and veggies. Butterflyweed needs regular watering throughout it’s early days, but is very drought tolerant when established. Direct sow in the Fall to let the seeds over-winter for a Spring and Summer bloom. If planting seeds in the Spring or Summer, the seeds need 2-4 weeks of cold/wet stratification. The Butterflyweed makes a tap root up 4-6 inches long, that it will regrow from, year to year. Be aware of the large roots if transplanting.