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Asclepias tuberosa 'Gay Butterflies'

Gay Butterflies butterfly weed

Plants bloom in shades of fiery red, orange, and yellow in June and July and sometimes even longer. They are irresistible to butterflies and hummingbirds love them too. The fragrant flowers are a nutritious treat for a wide variety of beneficial insects. It is also the host plant for Monarch butterflies. Plant in a sunny site with well-drained soil. Drought tolerant once established. Deer resistant.

Benefits

  • Bright flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies
  • Host plant for Grey Hairstreak, Monarch and Queen butterflies
  • Seedpods are often used in dried flower arrangements
  • Essential plant if you want to attract butterflies
  • Prefers moist, rocky soils, but will grow in dry situations too
  • Deer tend to leave this plant alone

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. Like many milkweeds, plants are slow to emerge from the ground in spring.


Height
24-28 in

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Spread
18-24 in

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

Native Range

Sandy soils and upland woods; New Hampshire to South Dakota south to Arizona, Mexico and Florida.

Native Trivia

Milkweeds are the host plant for Monarch butterflies. The entire lifecycle of these butterflies, from caterpillars to adults, revolves around this plant.

Characteristics & Attributes

Sun
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Deer Resistant
Plan Sub Group
Medium Perennials
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Soil
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Hummingbirds
Bloom Time
Late Summer
Summer
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Native Habitat
Grassland
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Accent
Border
Container
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Fragrant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Rock garden
Native to
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin