Planning for Your Butterfly Garden
Spring is just around the corner. It is time to start looking through those seed catalogs or planning that list that you will purchase from your local nursery.
What should you order? That depends on the types of butterflies you would like to attract to your garden. Many gardeners do
not think in terms of host plants that they need to provide for the butterflies to help to attract them. They think just flowers.
Host plants are those plants that the butterfly lays her eggs on. Some butterflies have several
host plants. The Monarch only has one host plant, Milkweed.
Milkweed grows wild in most of the United States, but if you would like something that you can plant in your flower
garden and not worry about it taking over your flower garden, considering planting Tropical Milkweed. It not only works as a host plant for Monarchs, but also a nectar plant also.
So this spring, try planting some Tropical Milkweed.
Botanical Name: Asclepias curassavica
Common Names: Tropical milkweed,
Bloodflower, Butterfly Weed.
Host Plant for: Monarch,
Zone: All zones as annual
9b – 12 as perennial
Light: Full sun to light shade
Size: Up to 3 'x 3'
Water: Average water needs
Soil: Best in rich moist garden
soil but will grow in almost any soil
Propagation: Cuttings, seed
Salt tolerance: Low
Bloom: Red / orange / yellow in umbels,
starting at four months after sprouting
Pests: Yellow milkweed aphids,
spider mites, thrips
Seed collection: Collect seed pods when dry.
Note: Keep the milky substance away from eyes.
This can be extremely painful and may need