Butterfly Weed

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Butterfly Weed is the iconic bright orange staple for every butterfly garden. This showy native wildflower is easy to grow and does well in poor dry soils. Blooming from June through August provides long lasting color in your sunny garden. The flowers are an important nectar source for Monarchs, and the leaves provide essential food for caterpillars. (Asclepias tuberosa)

Zones 4 - 10
Advantages
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Attract Butterflies
Attract Butterflies
Attract Birds
Attract Birds
Fragrant
Fragrant
Native
Native
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Mature Plant Size 24-28" tall, 12-18" wide
Bloom Time Early to late summer
Size Plant - 3.5" pot
SKU 20PER

Plant Information

This is the most famous member of our native milkweed family, and a well-known magnet for butterflies. It's one of the wildflowers that is so beautiful, its been taken into perennial gardens just as it is in nature--no hybridization necessary!

Butterfly weed has very little in common with its relative, the common milkweed--the familiar, tall, dusty-rose-flowered weed so often found along roadsides and in farm fields. This one is a really beautiful orange-flowered form with much more refined foliage and habits.

The milkweed family of North American plants is named Asclepias after Asclepias, the famous Greek God of Medicine, since the plants have long been used in herbal medicine.

This Asclepias, with its glowing orange flower heads, is best placed in a dry, sunny spot, and appreciates fast-draining gritty soil.

Native Range for Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly Weed) - AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WI, WV.

Associated SKUs
ABLTTXX
20PER (Plant - 3" pot)
AFLTT31 (Plant - 3.5" pot) - Out of stock.
Common Name Butterfly Weed or Swamp Milkweed
Botanical Name Asclepias tuberosa
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Light Requirements Full Sun
Flower Color Orange
Mature Height 24-28" tall
Estimated Mature Spread 12-18" wide
Bloom Time Early to late summer
Planting Depth Crown of plant should rest just at or above the soil surface after watering in.
Ships As Potted Plant
Foliage Color Green
Planting Time Fall
Soil Type Sandy Soil, Loamy Soil, Drought/Dry Soil
Soil Moisture Dry, Average, Well Draining
Advantages Deer Resistant, Attract Butterflies, Attract Birds, Fragrant, Native
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Shipping

Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Some perennials are shipped as potted plants, some as perennial roots packed in peat.  The ‘Plant Information’ section describes how that item will ship. All perennials and spring-planted bulbs are packaged to withstand shipping and are fully-guaranteed. Please open upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

Perennials and spring-planted bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

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Reviewsby PowerReviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
American MeadowsButterfly Weed
 
3.5

(based on 36 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (9)

69%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Healthy (10)
  • Low maintenance (9)
  • Accurate instructions (8)
  • Hardy (7)
  • Vivid colors (7)

Cons

  • Slow growth (4)

Best Uses

  • Garden (12)
  • Outdoors (7)
  • Large areas (4)
  • Raised beds (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid gardener (23), Casual hobbyist (4), Getting started (3), Master gardener (3)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (16)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Gardener's favorite weed

I can't keep enough of these around for the monarch butterfly caterpillars; they can strip one in a few hours. But it always comes back, putting out leaves and bright orange flowers in...Read complete review

I can't keep enough of these around for the monarch butterfly caterpillars; they can strip one in a few hours. But it always comes back, putting out leaves and bright orange flowers in a matter of days. Needs no special care, reseeds politely, is xeric even in my zone 9 and keeps my butterfly population ever growing.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

must be patient

I love this plant for the location I picked, and attracting butterflies, bees, and fans of the color.
What I don't like:
-delivered too early. In Denver, Co it...Read complete review

I love this plant for the location I picked, and attracting butterflies, bees, and fans of the color.
What I don't like:
-delivered too early. In Denver, Co it didn't get above 30 until June. i practically had to put them in an incubator for
2 months. no flowers until the second season.very slow growing
must be diligently protected. I learned this from the one I planted last year locally.

Reviewed by 36 customers

Displaying reviews 1-30

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5.0

I can't wait to get more

By 

from Orient, NY

About Me Getting Started

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate Instructions
  • Attractive
  • Butterflies and Bees love it
  • Hardy
  • Healthy

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Garden

    Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

    I planted the Butterfly Weed in a perennial garden next to a birdbath and one of my dwarf butterfly bushes.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal
     
    5.0

    Beautiful Plant

    By 

    from Culleoka, TN

    About Me Avid Gardener

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate Instructions
    • Attractive
    • Hardy
    • Healthy

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Garden
      • Outdoors

      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

      I wanted this plant to attract monarch butterflies and it did its job!! At one time I counted twenty seven monarch caterpillars on it! If you want to attract butterflies this is the plant to get!

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Pollinator magnet

      By 

      from Central Kentucky

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Attractive
      • Healthy

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Garden

        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

        A very attractive plant that attracts butterflies in profusion, literally by the dozen. I travel a lot and require "set it and forget it" plants. I have been cultivating native, perennial species to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. This plant is ideal for my purposes. I ordered six plants in the spring. I gave two to my daughter and planted four for myself. My plants have amazed me with their vigor and profusion of blooms. My daughter's plants are only doing so so. I cannot see any reason for this but I have heard of mixed results with this species. Evidently I was lucky. My soil conditions are not great, many things do not do very well here. These have done better than anything else I have ever planted. Based on my experience I recommend trying these in locations that have proved difficult for other things. You may be very pleasantly surprised.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Never grew

        By 

        from Oregon

        About Me Avid Gardener

        Verified Reviewer

        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

        I received this plant in poor condition but hoped it would recover once in the garden. It didn't. I would not buy this again.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal
         
        5.0

        Orange Butterfly Weed

        By 

        from St George, UT

        About Me Avid Gardener

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate Instructions
        • Attractive
        • Hardy
        • Versatile

        Cons

        • Small In Size

        Best Uses

        • Garden
        • Patio

        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

        I love the looks of this little plant. It is very eye catching with its bright orange blossoms against the light tan rocks in my flower bed.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Better than expected

        By 

        from Nashville TN

        About Me Avid Gardener

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate Instructions
        • Attractive
        • Healthy

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Garden
          • Outdoors

          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

          Planted two plants one day and the next day only one survived because something ate the other one. Fortunately whatever ate the first one did not return and the lone survivor has grown and spread very nicely. Bright orange in color. Attracts many butterflies and bees. Is starting to spread as well. Hope when it comes up again next spring that it will spread further.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          as promised

          By 

          from Athens, AL

          About Me Avid Gardener

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate Instructions

          Cons

          • 1 Of 3 Plants Took Longer

          Best Uses

          • Garden

          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

          I ordered this to attract Monarch Butterflies--maybe next year.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal
           
          4.0

          Arrived as advertised

          By 

          from Western KY

          About Me Getting Started

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate Instructions

          Cons

          • Not Animal Proof Here
          • Pests & Disease

          Best Uses

          • Garden
          • Outdoors

          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

          It was as promised, but some animal keeps biting the top out of it.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Disappointed

          By 

          from Moscow, Pa

          About Me Avid Gardener

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Difficult To Grow

            Best Uses

              Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

              Planted among other butterfly loving perennials and annuals. Did not do well and eventually died. It may have been due to excessive rainfall in early summer. Would definitely like to try again next spring.

              • Primary use:
              • Personal

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              great color!

              By 

              from RI

              About Me Avid Gardener

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Attractive
              • Hardy
              • Healthy
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Garden

                Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                Great color and truly attracks butterflies...not a weed at all!

                • Primary use:
                • Personal

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                didn't make it

                By 

                from colorado

                About Me Master Gardener

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Garden

                    Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                    This is a weed in Kansas and Nebraska. I understand this does best in lean soil with lots of sun. It didn't make it in my well fertilized and watered garden.

                    • Primary use:
                    • Personal

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Milkweed

                    By 

                    from Northport, ny

                    About Me Avid Gardener

                    Pros

                    • Hardy

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Outdoors

                      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                      Trying to help monarch butterflies

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal

                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      The milkweed came beautifully wrapped and was very healthy.

                      By 

                      from Northport, ny

                      About Me Avid Gardener

                      Pros

                      • Healthy

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Outdoors

                        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                        Trying to help monarch butterflies

                        • Primary use:
                        • Personal

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Wonderful plant

                        By 

                        from Evansville, IN

                        About Me Getting Started

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Accurate Instructions
                        • Hardy
                        • Healthy
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Garden
                          • Outdoors

                          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                          Purchased 2 of these milkweed plants and they are growing wonderfully. Hope they attract some monarchs this year!

                          • Primary use:
                          • Personal
                           
                          5.0

                          Great Plants Excellent service

                          By 

                          from New york

                          About Me Casual Hobbyist

                          Pros

                          • Butterfly Draw
                          • Low Maintenance

                          Cons

                          • No cons

                          Best Uses

                          • For The Bees Butterflies

                          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                          I love the colors that my plants came in yellow pink etc I never saw colors like these before. Only Joe pie (?) weed and it is a dark color not like the colors you offer

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Extraordinary plant

                          By 

                          from Evansville, IN

                          About Me Casual Hobbyist

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Low Maintenance
                          • Pest Resistant
                          • Reliable Growth

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Containers

                            Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                            I started butterfly weed from seed years ago in my flower border, but it was a very finicky grower. I noticed that it did a bit better in a container, so I ordered an American Meadows plant earlier this year. It has absolutely flourished, and I hope to have it for years to come. No Monarch butterfly visitors this year, but here's hoping!

                            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            2.0

                            must be patient

                            By 

                            from Denver, Co

                            About Me Avid Gardener, Master Gardener

                            Pros

                            • Vivid Colors

                            Cons

                            • Slow Growth

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                              I love this plant for the location I picked, and attracting butterflies, bees, and fans of the color.
                              What I don't like:
                              -delivered too early. In Denver, Co it didn't get above 30 until June. i practically had to put them in an incubator for
                              2 months. no flowers until the second season.very slow growing
                              must be diligently protected. I learned this from the one I planted last year locally.

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Top quality plant

                              By 

                              from Winder, ga

                              About Me Avid Gardener

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Fast growing
                              • Low Maintenance
                              • Pest Resistant
                              • Reliable Growth
                              • Vivid Colors

                              Cons

                              • None

                              Best Uses

                              • Containers
                              • Large Areas
                              • Raised Beds

                              Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                              Was surprised at how fast it grew and bloomed. The butterflies and bees love their own personal "buffet bar".
                              Can't wait to spread the seeds when they are mature.

                              (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              BE PATIENT!

                              By 

                              from West Alexander, PA

                              About Me Avid Gardener, Master Naturalist

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Promotes Monarchs
                              • Reliable Growth
                              • Vivid Colors

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Promote Monarchs

                                Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                I see the negative reviews here and can't help but wonder why they planted this flower? It's a beautiful flower with a rather short bloom time, but the main purpose of this is to feed the Monarch caterpillars since our monarchs are in sharp decline. Plant as many as you can, anywhere you can, any milkweed will do, this is just one of them. American Meadows stands behind their product, I can't help but promote such a great company. Quit complaining and HELP OUT OUR POLLINATORS! thanks!

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                3.0

                                Not as expected

                                By 

                                from Fairlee, VT

                                About Me Avid Gardener

                                Pros

                                  Cons

                                  • Arrived In Poor Condition
                                  • Plants died

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                    Small, dried twig-like plants delivered originally. Replacement plants healthy and surpassed growth of the one surviving plant. Am excited to see what they look like this next Spring.

                                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    1.0

                                    never bloomed

                                    By 

                                    from joliet il

                                    About Me Avid Gardener

                                    Verified Reviewer

                                    Pros

                                      Cons

                                      • Slow Growth

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Raised Beds

                                      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                      This plant, never took off. The growth rate was slow and it never bloomed

                                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      1.0

                                      caterpillar did not like it

                                      By 

                                      from Houston

                                      Verified Reviewer

                                      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                      I started raising butterflies ,had several milkweed plants. I bought butterfly weed from American Meadow, it is unlike regular butterfly weed.It grows like a vine and does not look like weed at all.MOnarchs,swallowtail and all other butterfly visit my yard and lay eggs, but not on the weed from American Meadow. Once I had Monarch caterpillar on my other weed, I put them on this weed but they did not eat it.It is been taken care well but only one feet tall still and started to die.

                                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      Butterfly Weed

                                      By 

                                      from Thousand Oaks, Ca

                                      About Me Avid Gardener

                                      Pros

                                      • Low Maintenance

                                      Cons

                                      • Slow Growth
                                      • Susceptible to Pests

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                        Milk weed is food for monarch caterpillars, it get eaten very quickly!

                                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        1.0

                                        Did not break dormancy

                                        By 

                                        from Brooklyn NY

                                        Verified Reviewer

                                        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                        I received a single, fairly expensive plant in a 2 inch pot. In theory it was dormant. I planted it, watered, waited. It never broke dormancy, remaining a sad little stick in the medicinal herb garden. Very disappointing.

                                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        "I'm Not Dead Yet!"

                                        By 

                                        from Beekman, NY

                                        About Me Casual Hobbyist

                                        Pros

                                        • Low Maintenance
                                        • Vivid Colors

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Large Areas

                                          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                          I purchased 3 plants. Planted them all together and waited. Two of them came alive after a couple weeks. One of them looked like it would never dance in the sun again. Of the two that came up, I decided to dig one up and move it to another spot. It did NOT hate me for it and instead continued to grow. After giving up the 3rd one for dead, I suddenly noticed green poking its way through the soil! I was three for three...until someone decided to "weed" that area and thought my two tiny little butterfly milkweeds were real weeds....Horrified, there was nothing I could do but wait to plant more next year. After a few weeks I saw what turned out to be the 2 butterfly weeds coming up through the soil again! Elated, I moved them to a "safer" spot. They are slower growing than the nearby bee balm, but I'm so looking forward to next year's growing season to see how they develop. These plants were determined to give me a green thumb no matter what! Thank you American Meadows!

                                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          1.0

                                          Nearly dead!

                                          By 

                                          from Blacksburg, VA

                                          About Me Avid Gardener

                                          Verified Reviewer

                                          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                          This plant arrived nearly dead. There were four short,skinny, dead twigs, and one wilted one. The wilited one subsequently died. I notified the company and my credit card account was credited. Not pleased with the quality, but pleased with the company response.

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          The Butterfly Weed was great,!!

                                          By 

                                          from Alma WI

                                          About Me Avid Gardener, Master Gardener

                                          Pros

                                          • Long Bloom Time
                                          • Low Maintenance
                                          • Reliable Growth
                                          • Vivid Colors

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                            • Large Areas

                                            Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                            I have ordered Butterfly Weed from other stores, and they never bloomed. These were exceptional plants, I have had tone of butterflys this year.

                                             
                                            5.0

                                            I would purchase again!

                                            By 

                                            from Maine

                                            About Me Avid Gardener

                                            Verified Reviewer

                                            Pros

                                            • Plants are very good size
                                            • Vivid Colors

                                            Cons

                                              Best Uses

                                              • Attract butterflies

                                              Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                              Plant is doing great. Everything I order from this company arrives in great shape!

                                               
                                              2.0

                                              Don't give up on it.

                                              By 

                                              from Michigan

                                              Verified Reviewer

                                              Pros

                                              • Low Maintenance

                                              Cons

                                              • Colors Not As Expected
                                              • Short Bloom Time

                                              Best Uses

                                                Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                                These plants were DOA when I received them. I have received dormant plants, but these were dry and brittle. Took a chance and put them in the garden. Here it is almost mid-August and they are finally coming back with some green leaves. The one does have a few flowers starting to appear, but I don't think they will bloom. I am hoping they are better next year.

                                                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                                 
                                                5.0

                                                Small and Strong

                                                By 

                                                from Zeeland, MI

                                                About Me A farm girl

                                                Pros

                                                • Healthy
                                                • Low Maintenance
                                                • Pest Resistant

                                                Cons

                                                  Best Uses

                                                  • Monarch butterflies

                                                  Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

                                                  Plants are strong & healthy even after shipping. They were very well packedin 2 1/2" pots- kudos to your packaging engineers.The four plants I ordered range from 3 1/2" to 5" tall & each pot has 3 or 4 stems. These are not like plants you buy at the local greenhouse or [@] in gallon pots. They are small and you need to plant them where you can keep an eye on 'em for the first season.Be patient, in the long run they will impress you, your neighbors, and your local Monarch butterflys. Once established they are care-free to maintain.I am a first time customer and very pleased with the fast service, and healthy plants.

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                                                  USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

                                                  To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

                                                  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
                                                  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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