During its first year of life (or until new plants start showing mature growth), you should maintain a moist soil environment for the Butterfly Weed. Once the plant appears to be well-established, you can cut back to watering it only occasionally, as it now prefers dry soil.
Because the Butterfly Weed is adaptable to zones three through nine, it can thrive in a variety of different temperature and humidity settings. Generally, the plant emerges in late spring, hitting its peak bloom during the warmer summer months and drying on the stem throughout the autumn and winter. It also tolerates heat and drought well.
Temperature and Humidity
Beloved for its ability to attract a variety of helpful (and beautiful) insects to the garden, Butterly Weed is an easy-to-nurture varietal that can also be found growing as a native wildflower in a slew of untamed environments, like meadows, prairies, and forests. Typically grown from seeds you sow directly in the garden in the fall, the butterfly plant does not require much tending to in order to thrive, prospering well in everything from clay soil, to dry or rocky soil, and even throughout drought-like conditions. Its seed pods will brown towards the end of its growing season (early autumn) and, if left on the plant, will burst and spread seeds throughout your garden to emerge as new growth the following spring. While the plant can take up to three years to fully mature and produce flowers, its blooms will gradually grow denser with each season that passes.
The low maintenance Butterfly Weed does not require any additional fertilization—in fact, doing so can harm the plant, so it’s best to just let it do its thing.
Typically, the easiest and most successful way to add Butterfly Weed to your garden is to grow it from seed form. Plant fresh seeds in fall for growth the following spring, or allow any established Butterfly Weeds already in your garden to do the work for you. Beginning in late summer or early fall, the plants should start to develop seed pods in place of their blooms. If left on the stem, the pods will eventually burst and the seeds inside will be blown throughout your garden, allowing them to establish themselves in the soil in time for the following year. If you’d rather have more control over the eventual location of any new Butterfly Weed plants, you can remove the seed pods from the plant before they burst open and simply plant new seeds by hand instead.
When you expose seeds to higher temperatures they will begin to germinate. This can take three or four weeks.
If a month passes and seedlings have not shown their heads, try putting the flat back into your refrigerator for another month or so. Then take it out and try again.
For best milkweed plant care results, you should establish your orange butterfly plant garden in full sun. Be sure to choose the location carefully since plants grow very long tap roots.
Butterfly Weed Care
Nope! This native plant known as the pleurisy root is easy to grow and grows like a weed!
Once established, moving them proves very difficult, and moving them tends to kill them.
As the days warm-up, set your seedlings outdoors in their pots in shaded areas for brief periods of time. Gradually extend the amount of time that they spend outdoors.
Also increase the amount of sunlight to which you expose them. Once plants hardened a bit and can tolerate outdoor conditions well, transplant them to their permanent setting where can enjoy the full sun.