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Can You Direct Sow Butterfly Weed in the Garden?


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You can sow butterfly weed seeds directly in the garden. In fact, direct sowing is preferable to starting indoors because butterfly weed–a perennial with orange or red flowers–has a long tap root that doesn’t transplant well.

Planting

  • Butterfly weed thrives in an average, well-drained soil in full sun. The plants are drought tolerant and grow well in a dry soil. Plant the seeds 1/16 inch deep in spring. Seedlings are slow to emerge–mark the spot so you won’t forget where you planted them.

Self-Sowing

  • Leave the faded flowers on the plant to encourage the production of seed pods. Each seed pod releases a hundred or more seeds, some of which will fall to the ground and produce new plants in spring.

Natural Seed Disbursement

  • In fall, butterfly weed seed pods pop open to release seeds. Each seed is equipped with long threads that catch the wind, carrying the seed to other areas.

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