Asclepias tuberosa

Orange Butterfly Weed, Milkweed Clay form

 

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Asclepias tuberosa (Orange Butterfly Weed) is a food source for Monarch butterfly caterpillars and very attractive to many varieties of butterflies. Perennial Plant Association Plant of The Year 2017. This special selection of the wildflower Orange Butterfly Weed is unique in its ability to grow in heavier soils including clay. Typically, Asclepias grows in sandy soils. Highly attractive to monarchs and other butterflies. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric). 15-18" tall x 15-18" wide..




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Zones 4 - 9
Advantages
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Attract Butterflies
Attract Butterflies
Attract Hummingbirds
Attract Hummingbirds
Bee Friendly
Bee Friendly
Fragrant Flower / Foliage
Native
Multiplies / Naturalizes
Adds Texture
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Annual Rainfall
1020
10 to 20"
2030
20 to 30"
3040
30 to 40" (with care)
Bloom Time Late spring to summer
Shipping Shipping begins in early September, coldest zones first. Buy now and we'll ship your order at the ideal planting time for your region. Expected ship week will display at checkout after you enter your zip code. More shipping info Learn More…
SKU HBLBJ21

Details

Perennial Plant Association Plant of The Year 2017. The glowing orange flowers of this native wildflower are irresistible to hummingbirds, butterflies, and people! This long-lived, tap-rooted plant needs a couple of growing seasons to establish its deep roots and reach mature size. Our uncommon strain of Asclepias is native to clay soils making it adaptable to a variety of clay and loam conditions; the most commonly available plants must be grown in sandy soils. Butterfly Weed is slow to wake up in the spring, but worth the wait! Asclepias tuberosa Native Range: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV. (Seed propagated.) 15-18" tall x 15-18" wide.

Associated SKUs
HBLBJXX
HBLBJ21 (Plant - 2.5" deep pot)
23201P (Plant - 5" deep pot) - Out of stock.
Common Name Orange Butterfly Weed, Milkweed Clay form
Botanical Name Asclepias tuberosa Clay form
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements Full Sun
Mature Height 15-18" tall
Mature Spread 15-18" wide
Bloom Time Late spring to summer
Ships As Potted Plant
Native Yes
Planting Time Spring / Summer, Fall
Soil Type Clay Soil, Sandy Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Soil Moisture Drought Resistant / Waterwise
Amount of Rain 10 to 20", 20 to 30", 30 to 40" (with care)
Advantages Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Attract Hummingbirds, Bee Friendly, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Native, Multiplies / Naturalizes, Adds Texture
Ideal Region Anywhere In The US, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Planting Guides

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.

  • 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.
  • Preferred growing conditions:

    1. Need sandy or gravelly soils (except the Clay form which does well in heavier soils including dry clay.)
    2. Does best with gravel mulches.
    3. After their second growing season, only requires deep but infrequent watering. Plant in full hot sun.
    4. Just 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.

    Special comments:

    • 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.
  • Most Asclepias species are late to wake up in the spring, and will often be shipped as dormant plants. Don't despair if your milkweed is asleep. The white roots and woody crown are alive just waiting for consistently warm weather to wake up and begin to grow.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:

    1. These species grow in a wide range of soil types, including clay.
    2. They don't need mulching (except in very hot climates).
    3. These are moisture-loving perennials and do well in wet to moderately moist soil conditions.
    4. Plant in full to part sun areas.
    5. They like compost enriched soils at planting time.

    Special comments:

    • 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.

Oftentimes, Milkweeds won't grow much their first season in the ground, so be patient. They are establishing their root system and crown. By the second growing season, the plants will begin to get bigger and look more robust. Asclepias species are an odd bunch and don't behave like many other more familiar perennials. So be patient and accept their quirky nature.

Garden care:

  1. Fertilize Asclepias just once in fall with Yum Yum Mix and Planters II. - Naturalized plantings don't need additional fertilization.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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.

Shipping

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 4 (zones 3-4 first) and ends in early November. Expected ship week will display at checkout after you enter your zip code.

Most plant and bulb orders arrive within 2-6 days, or less, of leaving our greenhouses in Colorado. This prompt delivery is provided without additional express charges.

Grass Plugs & Seed: Most orders ship within 5-8 business days (all zones).

Gardening Goods:All non-plant items ship within 2-3 days.

Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.

More Shipping Info.

Reviewsby PowerReviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
High Country GardensAsclepias tuberosa
 
2.9

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (7)

53%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate instructions (9)
  • Attractive (7)
  • Hardy (7)
  • Healthy (7)

Cons

  • Small in size (5)

Best Uses

  • Garden (11)
  • Outdoors (11)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid gardener (11), Master gardener (7)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (20)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Pretty and Easy to Grow

I bought six of these plants a few years ago and they have done amazing. They are planted in clay soil on western and southern exposure where we get 95 degree days in the...Read complete review

I bought six of these plants a few years ago and they have done amazing. They are planted in clay soil on western and southern exposure where we get 95 degree days in the summer and below zero in the winter. They have come back every year and do well with infrequent but deep watering throughout the hot summer months. They have a long flowering period and interesting seed pods that you can deadhead or leave on. Plus they are a food source for the Monarch larvae!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

No luck

Frustrated - have tried these in the past and no luck then either. Wer'e zone 5 so should grow just fine - but not a flower for me I guess.

Frustrated - have tried these in the past and no luck then either. Wer'e zone 5 so should grow just fine - but not a flower for me I guess.

Reviewed by 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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3.0

Gorgeous but might not come back after winter

By 

from Salt Lake City, UT

About Me Avid Gardener

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Attractive
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Might not come back up
  • Small In Size

Best Uses

    Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

    Gorgeous flowers! I have wanted these for many years. One arrived several inches high, the other was so tiny I wondered whether it was a plant! Both plants produced a flower. However, the plants did not grow a lot. Unless these plants are very late starters, both seemed to have died over winter. One plant cannot even be found back next to its tag. The other is still a dead stick at the end of April, but I try to remain hopeful. The plants were watered and planted in beds that were mulched for the winter. The did grow during summer, so it looks like they did take root. However, they did not grow a lot. Now new stalks or side branches were formed. I really wanted to love these, and the website, but of all the plants I planted last year (over 40), the ones I bought through this website all failed to thrive and/or survive winter. All my other plants bought locally did very well.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Milkweed for Coastal Southern California Near Los Angeles

    By 

    from Hermosa Beach

    About Me Master Gardener

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Attractive
    • Hardy

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Garden
      • Outdoors

      Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

      I just wanted to say that the area this particular milkweed, Asclepias Tuberosa, is good in, is the northern part of Southern California. My reading suggested zones 4-9 which do not include the Los Angeles Coastal area of 11a. Due to the concern about lower than normal Monarch Butterfly populations, I think it is important to provide folks searching for this information to be made familiar with the United States Department of Agriculture's Zonal map (USDA) for the purpose of understanding the difference between the many kinds of milkweed and which is best for the area that the person lives in. In my opinion, this milkweed is not a good choice for Coastal Southern California 11b. Rather The Narrow Leafed Milkweed Asclepias fascicularis is a much better choice as a native to plant in gardens as opposed to the Tropical Milkweed Asclepias Curassavica which has beautiful Orange flowers and grows easily here. I suggest people research the Proteus that can damage Monarchs that is found on the Tropical Milkweed in Coastal Southern California zone 11b of the USDA Zonal Map.

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Big disappointment

      By 

      from Vermillion, SD

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

      I used all the recommended fertilizers, etc. when I planted this. It died anyway. The review wants me to assign at least one star, but I wouldn't assign any.

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Hopeful

      By 

      from Denver

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate Instructions
      • Attractive
      • Healthy

      Cons

      • Small In Size

      Best Uses

      • Garden
      • Outdoors

      Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

      Hot/dry hillside. Slow growing but holding hope for next year.

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      A work in progress

      By 

      from Denver CO

      About Me Avid Gardener

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

      Originally bought this plant in Spring 2016. Started out pretty well for about a month. After that the foilage started getting yellow with new green growth. Survived most of the summer but by mid September showed no signs of life. Notified HCG and they sent a replacement plant Spring 2017. Planted in a different location and it did pretty well, growing about 24 inches tall with a small amount of blooms.
      I was showing a friend of mine around the garden in late August when I noticed a six inch tall asclepias plant coming up out of the bark mulch where I had planted it the year before. Very surprised. I will see what it does in the spring. If it survives it will be one tough plant

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Would not buy again

      By 

      from Liverpool Pa.

      About Me Master Gardener

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Small In Size

        Best Uses

        • Garden

        Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

        Was very small in size tried to save but died

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Wishing

        By 

        from San Angelo

        About Me Avid Gardener

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

        I live in zone 9 and struggle with deer, rabbits, snails, possums name it! I have many that survived but about the same that don't. This one didn't and I was really looking forward to seeing that color in my garden.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        No success for two plants

        By 

        from Denver, CO

        About Me Getting Started

        Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

        I received two plants in spring. There was no sign of life in the containers when received and planted--or by the end of the season. Disappointed.

        Service and delivery comments:

        Plants arrived at time promised.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Big disappointment!

        By 

        from Littleton CO

        About Me Master Gardener

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate Instructions

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Garden
          • Outdoors

          Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

          I was very excited to see this in your catalog last year as I garden in clay soil. They were small when I planted them last year and they lived but struggled. This year neither of the plants came up.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Slow to start, incredibly hardy and takes much abuse.

          By 

          from Deer Lodge, MT zone 4a

          About Me Avid Gardener

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate Instructions
          • Attractive
          • Hardy
          • Healthy
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Garden
            • Outdoors

            Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

            I know others have had a hard time with these; mine was slow to grow the first year (as expected from this plant) and I almost lost it, thinking it had died, and almost digging up that ground, but remembered it is slow to come up in spring, and doesn't look like much when it does. Even so, it did flower, and survive, despite being moved (as a tap root, not recommended) and ignored/forgotten, and then replanted late in the season. It is definitely hardy and takes all kinds of abuse, doesn't require much water (didn't get any when dug up and forgotten - the root looked like a shriveled carrot - but it still revived when planted). I can't wait to see it in all its (undisturbed) glory this year.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal

            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Looking good...

            By 

            from Bakersfield, VT

            About Me Master Gardener

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate Instructions
            • Hardy

            Cons

            • Flimsy
            • Small In Size

            Best Uses

            • Garden
            • Outdoors
            • Pool Area

            Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

            Planted in a nursery bed til I can put it in the permanent garden spot. Doing OK, but would've liked it to be a bit more robust.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal

            (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            Struggling plants

            By 

            from Birmingham, AL

            About Me Avid Gardener

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • The plants did not do well here.

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                Healthy plants arrived and were well-placed in the garden with good soil conditions. We had an extremely hot and humid summer then drought. I hope what remained of them will overwinter and they will improve with being acclimated.

                • Primary use:
                • Personal

                (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                No luck

                By 

                from Colorado Springs, CO

                About Me Master Gardener

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                  Cons

                  • Never Grew

                  Best Uses

                  • Outdoors

                  Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                  Frustrated - have tried these in the past and no luck then either. Wer'e zone 5 so should grow just fine - but not a flower for me I guess.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal

                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  Has not come up

                  By 

                  from Tn

                  About Me Avid Gardener

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Small In Size

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                      Don't know because it hasn't come up

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal

                      (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Attracts Butterflies and Hummingbirds

                      By 

                      from Tesuque, NM

                      About Me Master Gardener

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Accurate Instructions
                      • Attractive
                      • Healthy

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Outdoors

                        Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                        Slow to start, but give it time. Beautiful accent planting.

                        • Primary use:
                        • Personal

                        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Grew in difficult soil!

                        By 

                        from Littleton, CO

                        About Me Avid Gardener

                        Pros

                        • Accurate Instructions
                        • Attractive
                        • Fragrant
                        • Hardy
                        • Healthy

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Garden
                          • Outdoors

                          Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                          I needed a plant that would grow in clay soil around a young tree as a filler plant. I never thought any perennial would survive there, but this one did, and grew quickly. My only problem is that the local bunny rabbits like chewing on the stems, sigh... These are beautiful when blooming.

                          • Primary use:
                          • Personal

                          (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          3.0

                          Hmmmmm.

                          By 

                          from Denver, CO

                          About Me Avid Gardener

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Accurate Instructions

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Garden
                            • Outdoors

                            Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                            Three of them appeared to "take" before freeze. None appear to have survived the winter. Too expensive to ship (Denver to Denver) to have no success. I have others which are 3 years old and fine. Less satisfied with the product since ownership change.

                            • Primary use:
                            • Personal

                            (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            For the butterflies

                            By 

                            from Stratford, Ct.

                            About Me Master Gardener

                            Pros

                            • Accurate Instructions
                            • Hardy
                            • Healthy

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Garden
                              • Outdoors

                              Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                              Will provide for monarch butterflies and beneficials

                              • Primary use:
                              • Personal

                              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              The plant was superb. Well grown, well packed.

                              By 

                              from Albuquerque NM

                              About Me Professional Landscaper

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Accurate Instructions
                              • Fragrant
                              • Hardy
                              • Healthy

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Garden

                                Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                                Excellent butterfly plant

                                • Primary use:
                                • Personal

                                (17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Pretty and Easy to Grow

                                By 

                                from Erie, CO

                                About Me Avid Gardener

                                Pros

                                • Attractive
                                • Hardy
                                • Healthy

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Garden
                                  • Outdoors

                                  Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias tuberosa:

                                  I bought six of these plants a few years ago and they have done amazing. They are planted in clay soil on western and southern exposure where we get 95 degree days in the summer and below zero in the winter. They have come back every year and do well with infrequent but deep watering throughout the hot summer months. They have a long flowering period and interesting seed pods that you can deadhead or leave on. Plus they are a food source for the Monarch larvae!

                                  • Primary use:
                                  • Personal

                                  Displaying reviews 1-20

                                  Back to top

                                  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).

                                  Find Your Planting Zone:

                                  Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone

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