How to Start Butterfly Weed

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Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) takes its name from the fact that it is the host plant to both Monarch and Queen butterflies. They are attracted to the bright orange flowers produced on the bush in mid-summer to early fall. Butterfly weed, a perennial plant, is easy to grow and tolerates drought. Hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4a to 10b, the seeds require a 12-week period of cold-moist stratification. The plant forms a long taproot which does not tolerate transplanting, so it is best to start the butterfly weed seeds directly in the garden in August. It may take two to three years for the seed-started butterfly weed to produce flowers.



things you’ll need:
  • Spade or gardening fork
    1. Loosen the soil in the planting area by using a spade or fork to dig to a depth of 8 inches. Crush large clods of soil and rake the area until it is smooth and level.
    2. Moisten the planting area to a depth of 8 inches.
    3. Push the seeds 1/2 inch into the soil and cover them with moist sand.
    4. Keep the area moist at all times. The seeds should sprout in the spring.

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