California Narrow Leaf Milkweed
DetailsCalifornia Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) is western native species that enhance the landscape with its huge white flower clusters and big, narrow leaves. A host plant for Monarch populations on the West Coast and Great Basin, this ornamental species is easy to grow and thrives in a wide range of growing conditions. Companion plants include other butterfly-attracting native perennials like Achillea 'Sonoma Coast' (White Yarrow), Eriogonum (Sulfur Buckwheat) and Appleblossom Grass (Gaura).
HBLHX21 (Plant - 2.5" deep pot) - Out of stock.
HBLHX51 (Plant - 5" deep pot)
|Common Name||California Narrow Leaf Milkweed|
|Botanical Name||Asclepias fascicularis|
|Zones||6, 7, 8, 9, 10|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Mature Height||24-36" tall|
|Mature Spread||24-36" wide|
|Bloom Time||Early to mid summer|
|Ships As||Potted Plant|
|Planting Time||Spring / Summer, Fall|
|Soil Type||Clay Soil, Sandy Soil, Average Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Well Draining|
|Amount of Rain||10 to 20"|
|Advantages||Attract Birds, Bee Friendly, Native, Low Maintenance, Multiplies / Naturalizes|
|Ideal Region||Coastal California, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest|
|Neonicotinoid-Free||Yes - Learn More|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Preferred growing conditions:
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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 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.
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Standard shipping costs are $4.99 and up, depending on the size of the order.
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- Accurate Instructions
- Very waterwise
- Full sun
Comments about High Country Gardens Asclepias fascicularis:
We have a regionalized variation of this here locally in southern Utah high desert. I am happy to heartily endorse this plant as EXTREMELY versatile, self sufficient and prone to gently naturalizing (it reseeds, but fits in nicely with other plants; it doesn't take over, it blends). And yes, it DOES attract monarchs! This is the only type of milkweed with which we have had consistent success.
I highly recommend it for those who have found other milkweed to be too finicky or specific.
We have it in low spots with airless, clay-like soil as well as on sandy slopes. Some of the colonies on our property are watered and some receive no human attention. No matter, all thrive. We even have mowed certain patches...they just come back thicker and with more stems and blooms!
As long as it gets full sun, it is happy.
And just to reassure you that all is well: Our local variety, at least, appears at first to transport quite poorly. I have moved it around on the property and sometimes even for the remainder of the growing season, it appears dead. Come late the following spring, it always revives and goes on to produce long lasting summer blooms!
Followed of course by those fun pods that open up to let loose their signature silky soft seedheads.
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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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