Monarch Magic Collection
DetailsMonarch butterflies need our help and now we can provide it, AND, add a beautiful perennial collection to our gardens. Our 5-plant Monarch Magic Collection includes 1-each of 2 Asclepias varieties (Common Milkweed and Swamp Milkweed), providing essential food and support for Monarch caterpillars. Additionally, 2 late summer blooming Aster varieties (Professor Kippenberg New York Aster and Lady in Black Aster) will provide needed nectar for traveling butterflies. Lastly, Gayfeather (Liatris aspera) is a true butterfly magnet and a favorite of Monarchs, supplying nectar during late summer to fall. These native perennials are easy-to-grow, long-lived, drought tolerant garden plants that will add natural beauty and enjoyment as you watch the butterflies fill up!
|Common Name||Monarch Magic Collection|
|Botanical Name||Monarch Magic Collection|
|Zones||4, 5, 6, 7, 8|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Morning Sun & Afternoon Shade|
|Flower Color||Pink, Purple|
|Mature Height||Asclepias incarnata - 3-4' tall
Asclepias syriaca - 3-4' tall
Aster novi-belgii Professor Kippenberg - 40-48" tall
Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black - 24-36" tall
Liatris aspera - 36" tall
|Mature Spread||Asclepias incarnata - 3' wide
Asclepias syriaca - 24-30" wide
Aster novi-belgii Professor Kippenberg - 18-24" wide
Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black - 24-36" wide
Liatris aspera - 12-15" wide
|Bloom Time||Early summer to mid fall|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer, Fall|
|Soil Type||Clay Soil, Sandy Soil, Average Soil, Well-Drained Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Average, Very Drought Resistant / Very Waterwise|
|Amount of Rain||Less than 10" (with irrigation), 10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40"|
|Advantages||Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Bee Friendly, Rabbit Resistant, Squirrel Resistant, Easy to grow, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Native, Extended Bloom Time (more than 4 weeks), Low Maintenance, Multiplies / Naturalizes|
|Ideal Region||Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
These are late summer/fall blooming native wildflowers that are easy-to-grow and provide an ample late season nectar supply for butterflies and bees. As such, they are an indispensible perennial for late season color and for feeding migrating Monarchs. Asters are resistant to browsing rabbits.
Preferred growing conditions:
- They grow well in most any type of soil including clay.
- Mulch with common mulching materials as well as gravel when planted in a xeriscape.
- Most do well with regular irrigation to keep the soil moderately moist. Some species are more xeric.
- Plant in full sun or part sun. Some varieties will stretch in too much shade
- Just a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix in the planting hole is enough. Don't plant into a rich, highly amended soil. Special comments:
- Species that spread to form wide growing clumps can be divided in mid-spring. Garden Care:
- Fertilize in the fall with Yum Yum Mix and good quality compost.
- Deadheading is not necessary, but will reduce re-seeding of seed-grown varieties.
- Leave standing over the winter months and cut back hard to 1 to 2" above the ground.
- If foliage becomes affected with mildew at the end of the growing season, cut back to the ground and remove the leaves/stems to the compost pile or trash.
- Needs sandy/ gravelly and sandy loam type soils. Liatris unctate and L. mucronata will do fine in dry clay (I,e, clay soil in high spots, hillsides, raised beds).
- Does best with a course textured mulch (pine needles, crushed pecan shells, small bark chips), as well as gravel when planted in a xeriscape.
- Only requires deep but infrequent watering after the second growing season.
- Plant in full, hot sun
- Just a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix in the planting hole is enough. Don’t plant into a rich, highly amended soil.
- To encourage re-seeding, leave some flower spikes on the plants over the fall and winter months to disperse seeds.
- Fertilize Liatris just once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II.
- Liatris plants have long tap roots once established and should not be divided or transplanted once established.
- Leave Liatris varieties standing over the winter and cut back to 1-2" inches above the soil in mid- to late spring when the plants begin to wake up.
- Need sandy or gravelly soils (except the Clay form which does well in heavier soils including dry clay.)
- Does best with gravel mulches
- After their second growing season, only requires deep but infrequent watering. Plant in full hot sun.
- ust a few handfuls of compost and Yum Yum Mix added to the planting hole is enough. Don't plant into a rich, highly-amended soil.
- When planting dormant plants, water thoroughly after planting and wait to water again until the plant comes into active growth, at which time a deep watering every week or so is adequate. Take care not to overwater young transplants.
- Asclepias has a long, carrot-like tap root that should remain undisturbed after planting and should NOT ever be divided.
- These species grow in a wide range of soil types, including clay.
- They don't need mulching (except in very hot climates).
- These are moisture-loving perennials and do well in wet to moderately moist soil conditions.
- Plant in full to part sun areas.
- They like compost-enriched soils at planting time.
- Asclepias syriaca and A. speciosa will spread to make big patches of plants and are best planted in parts of the landscape where they won't crowd out less vigorous plants. Not recommended for the prime spots in your perennial beds.
- Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is a more refined grower and is fine to include in perennial beds.
- Fertilize Asclepias just once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II. - Naturalized plantings don't need additional fertilization.
- To encourage re-seeding and provide winter interest with their ornamental seed pods, leave the stems intact over the winter. In mid-spring, remove old stems just above ground level.
- All species of Asclepias are late to emerge in the spring, so don't be concerned if other perennials come up first and they remain dormant.
This is a group of summer blooming native wildflowers that are easy-to-grow and provide an ample late season nectar supply for butterflies. Liatris are resistant to browsing rabbits. These perennials stay dormant later in the spring than many plants, so be patient. Because they naturally stay asleep longer into the spring, we will ship dormant plants early in the planting season. It’s ideal to plant dormant plants; don’t up-pot them for planting later in the growing season. Water in dormant plants thoroughly at planting time and water very sparingly, or not at all, until they begin to push new growth as the weather warms. Preferred growing conditions:
Soil Preparation: Remember that proper soil preparation is the key to healthy, vigorous blooming perennials. Use Yum Yum Mix and a high quality compost at recommended rates to prepare the soil. Inoculate the plant roots with Plant Success mycorrhizal inoculant. Planting: Plant according to the mature size of the plant. Don’t be tempted to put the plants too close based on their size in the pots. They’ll grow quickly and cover the space shown in the planting map. (Maps included only with Pre-Planned Gardens, not Collections.)
Fertilizing: Once annually in mid-fall, after plants begin to go dormant. Use Yum Yum Mix or Yum Yum Mix Winterizer at recommended rates to improve the soil and provide essential plant nutrients.Use it with high quality compost, mix half and half by volume and spread on top of the soil. Scratch it in lightly and water thoroughly. It is also beneficial to treat the plant roots with Plant Success® mycorrhizal root inoculant if you didn’t do so at planting time. (Inoculation only needs to be done once.)
Mulching: In arid climates mulching is very beneficial. Coarse textured composts, shredded leaves, pine needles and composted bark are all excellent mulch materials. Apply to a depth of 1-2 inches. Replenish annually (or as needed).
Tips For Growing Milkweed/Butterflyweed (Asclepias)
Asclepias (Milkweed) are sun loving plants that are essential perennials for monarch butterflies providing food for caterpillars and nectar for adult butterflies. They bloom from mid-summer into early fall and, with their milky sap, are resistant to rabbits and deer.
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.
1. Asclepias tuberosa (Orange Butterfly Weed) - this perennial stays dormant until later in the spring than many other plants, especially when grown in pots. It's fine to plant dormant plants; don't up-pot them for planting later in the growing season.
2. Asclepias speciosa, A. syriaca. A. incarnata (Milkweed) - these perennial species stay dormant later in the spring than many other plants, especially when they are grown in pots. It's fine to plant dormant plants; don't up-pot them for planting later in the growing season.
Preferred growing conditions:
View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.
Plant Shipping: Buy now and we will ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Fall shipping begins the week of September 5, zones 3-4 first. Most plant orders arrive within 3-5 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.
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Q & A
Suggested Companion Plants
USDA Hardiness Planting Zones
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.
- If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
- If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).
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