Asclepias purpurascens

Purple Milkweed

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) is a rare species of milkweed found in the Midwest and grown for its showy purple flowers. Spreading via rhizomes, it's best planted in unused areas and side yards where it can spread happily. Only one per customer, please.
Zones 3 - 8
Advantages
Good for Erosion Control
Deer Resistant
Attract Butterflies
Bee Friendly
Native
Low Maintenance
Multiplies / Naturalizes
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Annual Rainfall
20 to 30"
30 to 40"
Mature Plant Size 24-36" tall 12-36" wide
Bloom Time Early to mid summer
Shipping Shipping begins the week of February 25th, 2019 Learn More…
Size Plant - 5" Pot
SKU HC013950

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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Per Plant - 5" Pot
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SKU
HC013950

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Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) is a rare and showy Milkweed species. This Mid-western wildflower is a host plant for Monarch populations in the middle portion of the US. A robust grower, Purple Milkweed does well in most any soil and appreciates moisture. Spreading by underground rhizomes, Purple Milkweed is best grown in unused areas of your yard, along ditch banks and fences where it can spread without overrunning other perennials. Good companion plants include Helianthus (perennial Sunflower) and Beebalm (Monarda).
More Information
SKU
HC013950
Ships To Canada
No
Common Name
Purple Milkweed
Botanical Name
Asclepias purpurascens
Zones
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Flower Color
Pink
Height
36 inches
Mature Height
24-36" tall
Mature Spread
12-36" wide
Bloom Time
Early - Mid Summer
Bloom Time
Early to mid summer
Ships As
Potted Plant
Planting Time
Spring / Summer, Fall
Soil Type
Sandy Soil, Average Soil, Low Fertility Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Soil Moisture
Average, Well Draining
Amount Of Rain
20 to 30", 30 to 40"
Advantages
Good for Erosion Control, Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Bee Friendly, Native, Low Maintenance, Multiplies / Naturalizes
Ideal Region
Northeast, Midwest, West, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Coastal California
Native To
North America
Item Package Size
Plant - 5" Pot
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
ZoneShipping Status
Zone 2Shipping begins the week of May 20th, 2019
Zone 3Shipping begins the week of May 20th, 2019
Zone 4Shipping begins the week of May 20th, 2019
Zone 5Shipping begins the week of April 29th, 2019
Zone 6Shipping begins the week of April 15th, 2019
Zone 7Shipping begins the week of March 25th, 2019
Zone 8Shipping begins the week of March 4th, 2019
Zone 9Shipping begins the week of February 25th, 2019
Zone 10Shipping begins the week of February 25th, 2019
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