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USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’. Knowing your zone number is helpful when shopping for plants because:

  • Cold-area gardeners can avoid buying plants that simply won’t survive their lowest winter temperatures.
  • Warm-area gardeners can steer clear of plants that need a period of cold weather in order to bloom again.
Find your Plant Hardiness Zone here.

Butterfly Weed

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Shipping:
Shipping begins in September based on ground temperatures, coldest zones first. Learn More…

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. Blooms from June through August, providing 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
Bee Friendly
Bee Friendly
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 - 2.5" pot
SKU AFLTT31

Plant Information

24-28" tall, 12-18" wide. The most famous member of our native milkweed family, and a well-known magnet for butterflies, Butterfly Weed prefers fast-draining, gritty soil and exposure to full sun. Blooming from early through late summer, this fragrant beauty has a deep-reaching tap root that should not be disturbed. Unlike other milkweeds, Butterfly Weed does not possess the milky sap that can irritate skin and eyes. This is a no-fuss plant that requires very little aftercare and is deer-resistant. To achieve a bushy look, pinch back young stems. Stalks and pods provide interest in the winter garden.

Butterfly weed is a milkweed from the Asclepias family, named after the famous Greek God of Medicine. The plants have long been used in herbal medicine, where they're also known as Pleurisy Root.

Butterfly Weed is common from Canada southwards.

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
AFLTT31 (Plant - 2.5" pot)
20PER (Plant - 3" pot) - Out of stock.
ASLTT12 (12 Plants 3") - Out of stock.
Common Name Butterfly Weed
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, Bee Friendly, Fragrant, Native
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Planting & Care

How to Plant Milkweed, Step-by-Step:

  1. Choose fast-draining soil.
  2. Plant in full sun.
  3. Do NOT disturb roots, especially tap roots.
  4. Water sparingly.

Learn More

 

Further Reading:

Shipping

Shipping begins in September based on ground temperatures, coldest 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. Fall bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial orders may arrive separately from bulbs and 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
 
3.4

(based on 39 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (16)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (11)

66%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Healthy (11)
  • Low maintenance (9)
  • Accurate instructions (8)
  • Hardy (7)
  • Vivid colors (7)

Cons

  • Slow growth (4)

Best Uses

  • Garden (13)
  • Outdoors (7)
  • Large areas (4)
  • Raised beds (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid gardener (24), Getting started (5), Casual hobbyist (4), Master gardener (3)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (19)

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

 

Disappointed

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...Read complete review

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.

Reviewed by 39 customers

Displaying reviews 1-30

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1.0

Order only in the spring

By 

from Omaha. Neb.

About Me Avid Gardener

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • fall plantings didn't survive

    Best Uses

      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

      Order only in the spring, unless you live in the South. My order was shipped in the fall, and only one of four plants survived. American Meadows said, "When fall planting, it is important to ensure that new transplants will have a minimum of six (6) weeks in the ground for root acclimation before they are exposed to freezing temperatures. As shipping for our fall planting season does not begin until mid to late September, this may not provide enough time for your plants to fully acclimate before encountering freezing temperatures in a zone 5 location."

      • Primary use:
      • Personal
       
      5.0

      Arrived in great shape

      By 

      from Kansas

      About Me Getting Started

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Healthy

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Garden

        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

        Very nice plant

        • Primary use:
        • Personal

        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        disappointing

        By 

        from Des Moines, Iowa

        About Me Getting Started

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

          • difficult to grow

          Best Uses

            Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed:

            None of these survived, very disappointed.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            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

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              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

                (3 of 3 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 3 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

                  (5 of 5 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

                    (6 of 7 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

                        (4 of 4 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

                          (3 of 3 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

                                (1 of 2 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

                                  (2 of 3 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

                                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    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

                                    (2 of 2 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!

                                      (3 of 3 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.

                                        (3 of 6 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.

                                        (8 of 13 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!

                                          (2 of 2 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.

                                              (4 of 4 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

                                                (2 of 3 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.

                                                (2 of 2 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.

                                                  (5 of 5 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!

                                                    (4 of 4 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.

                                                    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                                     
                                                    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.

                                                      Displaying reviews 1-30

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                                                      Q & A

                                                      Plant With These:

                                                      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).

                                                      Find Your Planting Zone:

                                                      Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone

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