Planning for Your Butterfly Garden


Spring is just around the corner. It is time to start looking through those seed catalogs or planning that list that you will purchase from your local nursery.
What should you order? That depends on the types of butterflies you would like to attract to your garden. Many gardeners do
not think in terms of host plants that they need to provide for the butterflies to help to attract them. They think just flowers.
Host plants are those plants that the butterfly lays her eggs on. Some butterflies have several
host plants. The Monarch only has one host plant, Milkweed.
Milkweed grows wild in most of the United States, but if you would like something that you can plant in your flower
garden and not worry about it taking over your flower garden, considering planting Tropical Milkweed. It not only works as a host plant for Monarchs, but also a nectar plant also.
So this spring, try planting some Tropical Milkweed.

Botanical Name: Asclepias curassavica

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Common Names: Tropical milkweed,

Bloodflower, Butterfly Weed.

Host Plant for: Monarch,

Queen, Soldier

Zone: All zones as annual

9b – 12 as perennial

Light: Full sun to light shade

Size: Up to 3 'x 3'

Water: Average water needs

Soil: Best in rich moist garden

soil but will grow in almost any soil

Propagation: Cuttings, seed

Salt tolerance: Low

Bloom: Red / orange / yellow in umbels,

starting at four months after sprouting

Pests: Yellow milkweed aphids,

spider mites, thrips

Seed collection: Collect seed pods when dry.

Note: Keep the milky substance away from eyes.

This can be extremely painful and may need

Medical attention.