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Asclepias tuberosa - Care Guide

Caring for Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly weed

Asclepias are commonly known as milkweeds and the sap from their fleshy stems may be a skin irritant so wear gloves when handling or propagating these plants.

A. tuberos has flowers which are especially attractive to bees and it is therefore very suitable for growing both in a border or in a wild flower garden designed with pollinators in mind. It grows to about 3ft in maturity and has stout stems which are unbranched and lance shaped mid-green leaves of about 4in in length. The flowers are orange or yellowish orange in terminal clusters about 2in across. These appear from July to September.

These are fully hardy perennial plants which prefer a fertile well drained soil in full sun. At Burncoose we have grown these plants successfully in the conservatory for many years. They make excellent greenhouse plants when grown in pots in a loamy compost in full light but with some shading on the glass. The plants produce long fruits which can be collected and sown in pots in the spring. They can also be propagated by root cuttings or by division in the spring.


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