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Florida Wildflowers: Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed – Photo courtesy Mary Salinas

Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa, has been gaining in popularity in the perennials market as it attracts adult butterflies to feed on its nectar and monarch caterpillars to feed on its leaves. Gardeners are also turning to use more Florida native plants in their landscapes.

Independent or native nurseries tend to be the best source for plants but the supply can be quite limited. There are more sources for seed, though, online. Try to purchase seed from a local or Florida grower as those seeds will be better adapted to our climate.

Butterfly Weed – Photo courtesy Mary Salinas

When growing butterfly weed from seed, transplant your new plants into their garden spot when they are still quite young, 2-3” tall, as they will be more successful in getting them established. Choose your planting location wisely. Once you plant it in a particular area, don’t move it. They are finicky about being moved from spot to spot.

For more information:

Monarch Butterfly

Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly Weed, Indian Paintbrush

Florida Wildflower Foundation

 

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Author: Mary Salinas - mderrick@ufl.edu

Residential Horticulture Extension Agent for Santa Rosa County

Permanent link to this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/hort/2018/07/11/florida-wildflowers-butterfly-weed/