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ALASKA HAWAII MIDWEST NORTHEAST PACIFIC NORTHWEST SOUTHEAST SOUTHWEST WEST Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9 Zone 10
What is this To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’.

Butterfly Weed Seeds

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Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is the famous orange milkweed species native from Canada to Florida. Needs fast-draining soil and full sun. Perennial

Zones 3 - 8
Ideal Regions
Northeast
Southeast
Midwest
Southwest
West
Pacific Northwest
Advantages
Native
Native
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Mature Plant Size Up to 36 inches tall
Bloom Time Summer
SKU ASTG

Plant Information

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is one of our great North American native flowers with rich Indian and medicinal history. The brilliant orange blooms light up meadows dramatically, and of course, visits by butterflies are a bonus. This wildflower, also prized as a garden perennial, is not easy to grow, but once established, is a tough, dependable colormaker.

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
ASTG
ASTP (Packet)
ASTOZ (1 Ounce)
ASTQP (1/4 Pound)
Common Name Butterfly Weed
Botanical Name Asclepias tuberosa
Seed Life Cycle Perennials
Light Requirements Full Sun
Flower Color Orange
Mature Height Up to 36 inches tall
Bloom Time Summer
Ships As Seed
Seeds Per Pound 68,800
Seeds Per Packet 50
Soil Moisture Dry, Average, Well Draining
Soil Type Sandy Soil, Loamy Soil, Drought/Dry Soil
Native To North America
Native To Eastern and Southern United States
Native Yes
Ideal Region Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific Northwest
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Advantages Native
Is It Storable? Yes- You can store your seed in any cool (not freezing) dry place that is not subject to extreme temperature variations.
Non-GMO Yes
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada Yes

Planting & Care

Attract Butterflies To Your Garden With Milkweed!

Understanding Milkweed (Asclepias) Seed & Germinating

Germination: To start Milkweed seed we recommend starting inside, but before this happens Milkweed seeds need to go through a cold stratification period. Cold stratification is very important for the germination and growth of Milkweed. It helps break the seeds natural dormancy cycle. To do this, we recommend placing Milkweed seed in a damp paper towel or damp sand in a zip lock bag and place in your fridge for 3 – 6 weeks (30 days). Place in an area of the fridge, where it won’t get damaged. We taped ours to the bottom of a refrigerator shelf.

Growing Indoors

Planting In Spring: Once the 30 days are complete, it’s time to plant the cold stratified Milkweed (asclepias) seeds. We recommend planting in 2-4” peat pots. Fill peat pots ¾ of the way with seed starting potting soil and gently add water. Water should be able to drain through the peat pots. Once the soil is damp, place 1-2 cold stratified seeds into each pot. To finish, place 1/4 inch of soil on top of the seed.

Planting In Fall: If you're planting Milkweed seed in the fall, let nature do the cold stratification for you! There is no need to place your seeds in the refrigerator before planting, you can plant seeds directly into the soil after there have been a few frosts in your area. This allows for the seeds to remain dormant for the winter and come up in the early spring. Clear away any existing growth and using your index finger to measure, create 1.5" holes for each Milkweed seed. We recommend spacing seeds about 4-6” apart. Place a seed in each hole and cover. Water thoroughly.

Watering: Gently water the planted seed to give additional hydration. The best way to water is from the bottom up. Use a flat pan under the peat pots and add a half inch of water to the bottom of the tray. Don’t over water as it can cause fungus. Water every day or every other day as needed, the best way to test the soil dampness is to touch it. If the soil seems dry then add water; if it’s wet, wait for the soil to dry out to water.

Light Requirements: For the next few weeks, make sure the Milkweed is either in a sunny window, in a green house or under a grow light. Milkweed needs lots of sun and warmth to grow. If you’re using a grow light, make sure to lower the bulb closer to the pots or your seedlings may become leggy, as they stretch to the light. In our experiment, this happened to us. Ideally a sturdier stem is better. Cold stratified seeds should germinate and sprout within 10-15 days once planted. In total Milkweed from the day they are cold stratified to growth can take 40 plus days, so be patient!

Other planting options: Place dry seed (not stratified) in seed starting soil and plant in peat pots under a grow light or in a greenhouse to germinate seeds. The success rate for this is low and more difficult to accomplish. If you choose to use this option it can take months for the seeds to germinate.

If you are planting seed outside, we suggest seeding in late fall, and let the Milkweed seed lay on the ground through winter. Milkweed seed will have a long winter of dormancy, so once the sun comes out and the ground warms in the spring, the seeds will germinate on their own.

Transplanting Milkweed (Asclepias) Seedling Outdoors

Where to Plant: Milkweed does well in open areas with full sunlight exposure areas like fields, parks, cultivated gardens, roadsides, highway medians, and road sides. We suggest transplanting Milkweed when the plant is no larger than 3 inches tall. In most cases in transplanting, the Milkweed plant will go though some shock and could lose all its leaves. This happens, don’t panic. The plant is trying to establish its roots and will eventually grow leaves again. This is the main reason we suggest planting seeds in peat pots, because Milkweed roots are very sensitive. Peat Pots breakdown over time in the ground, which allows the milkweed roots to grows without being disrupted. We found this to be the best way to transplant. If you decide to plant in plastic containers, but make sure it’s deep enough for roots to grow. If you receive a plant already grown in plastic, be careful to take out the plant and not disturb the roots.

When to plant: Soil moisture and temperature are very important when growing Milkweed. The best time to plant Milkweed is in early spring after the danger of frost has passed. If you plant seeds late in the spring, the seeds may not grow due toCommon Milkweed Field Grown germination time and temperature. Common Milkweed seed doesn’t germinate over 85 degrees.

Caring For Milkweed (Asclepias) Plants

Once your seedling is planted, water it for a few days to get it established, but after that, the plant doesn’t need a lot of supplemental water. Only water if you have an unusual dry spell. Peat pots are nice to use, but you need to be sure there is no top edge above the soil line after transplanting. In dry climates, this will wick away valuable soil moisture. A small 2 1/2″ diameter x 3 in. deep pot is ideal. Asclepias are somewhat finicky native plants. So minimizing the time growing in a pot and transplanting them as young plants is the best approach.

Shipping

Most orders ship within 48 hours or less.

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. Orders for in-season products ship within 48 hours or less. Depending upon your order date, we may hold your shipment to combine it with other products on your order, if applicable. 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 Seeds
 
3.4

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

70%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Low maintenance (5)
  • Vivid colors (5)
  • Reliable growth (4)
  • Long bloom time (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Large areas (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid gardener (8)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Bees and butterflies love this plant!

What beautiful plants that come from a seed! The most beautiful orange! I grew these seeds in a pot on our front porch and then transplanted these to our butterfly/bee area...they...Read complete review

What beautiful plants that come from a seed! The most beautiful orange! I grew these seeds in a pot on our front porch and then transplanted these to our butterfly/bee area...they just love this plant and I do too! Thanks American Meadows for offering us such beautiful and unique options for our gardens! I will definitely buy again!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Grew great but.....BUGS! Many little orange bugs.

Plants grew and look great. But infested with what must have been thousands of little orange milkweed bugs that appeared to be eating the seeds in the pods.

Plants grew and look great. But infested with what must have been thousands of little orange milkweed bugs that appeared to be eating the seeds in the pods.

Reviewed by 12 customers

Displaying reviews 1-12

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Bees and butterflies love this plant!

By 

from Sevierville, TN

About Me Avid Gardener

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate Instructions
  • Attractive
  • Healthy

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • Outdoors
    • Patio

    Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

    What beautiful plants that come from a seed! The most beautiful orange! I grew these seeds in a pot on our front porch and then transplanted these to our butterfly/bee area...they just love this plant and I do too! Thanks American Meadows for offering us such beautiful and unique options for our gardens! I will definitely buy again!

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Grew great but.....BUGS! Many little orange bugs.

    By 

    from Milwaukee WI

    About Me Avid Gardener

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Susceptible to Pests

    Best Uses

      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

      Plants grew and look great. But infested with what must have been thousands of little orange milkweed bugs that appeared to be eating the seeds in the pods.

       
      1.0

      Seeds didn't geerminate

      By 

      from West Jefferson,l NC

      About Me Casual Hobbyist

      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

      The seeds never germinated and there were not many in the package. Could we please have a replacement pack?

       
      5.0

      lovely

      By 

      from Mountain Home, AR

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fragrant
      • Reliable Growth

      Cons

      • Susceptible to Pests

      Best Uses

      • Border Control
      • Large Areas

      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

      I liked this very much

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Did not grow

      By 

      from Penn Hills, PA

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

      Butterfly weed, Marsh Marigold, Lavender, Blu Flax, Oriental poppy - none of these took.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Seeds did not come up!!

      By 

      from Becker, Mn

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

      Seeds did not come up!?

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      "I would buy this product again

      By 

      from Cincinnati, OH

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Pros

      • Low Maintenance
      • Pest Resistant
      • Vivid Colors

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Containers

        Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

        Very easy to grow. Beautiful color.

         
        1.0

        They never flowered. pr

        By 

        from Framingham, Ma

        About Me Avid Gardener

        Pros

          Cons

          • Never Flowered

          Best Uses

          • Large Areas

          Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

          Very disapointed as just got leaves but no flowers.
          I am hoping next year the plant will come up in the spring and flower as I had something else that did that. I do not remember the name of that plant.

           
          5.0

          Awesome!!!

          By 

          from Spring Valley, WI

          About Me Avid Gardener

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Fragrant
          • Long Bloom Time
          • Low Maintenance
          • Pest Resistant
          • Reliable Growth
          • Vivid Colors

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Border Control
            • Cut Flowers
            • Erosion Control
            • Large Areas

            Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

            These have added so much to my wildflower beds and the naturalized areas. Beautiful!!!

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Looks are deceiving

            By 

            from Springfield, IL

            Verified Reviewer

            Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

            I planted the seeds in two large pots that are on my deck. I had in previous years planted different things in the pots, so, of course, there were other seeds in the soil. When I got the butterfly weed seeds I scattered them in the pots. Something was coming up that I thought was from previous year's plantings, so I pulled them up. Well needless to say I found out that I had pulled up most of the butterfly weed. I had several to survive and they bloomed beautifully. Since they are a perennial I am sure they will come up next spring.

            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Good One!

            By 

            from Woodinville, WA

            About Me Casual Hobbyist

            Pros

            • 1st To Bloom In My Field
            • Long Bloom Time
            • Low Maintenance
            • Vivid Colors

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Large Areas
              • Raised Beds

              Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

              Planted many, many wildflower seeds in new fields last summer (grew well, coming back). Added these two months ago... and they are the 1st flowering plant to bloom! And, they're still flowering.

              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              love it!

              By 

              from NC

              About Me Master Gardener

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Low Maintenance
              • Reliable Growth
              • Vivid Colors

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Large Areas

                Comments about American Meadows Butterfly Weed Seeds:

                turning my backyard into a wildflower haven for butterflies, bees, dragonflies. fireflies etc. etc. etc.....

                Displaying reviews 1-12

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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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