Asclepias, my difficult love

My favorite plant is Asclepias tuberosa or butterfly milkweed, also, I love the color orange. I’m not sure which of these loves came first, or if one caused the other. I just remember really loving butterfly milkweed for as long I can remember. It is vivid and undaunted on the hottest summer days. Also, to quote a friend who is a horticulturist/garden designer, “Orange is a neutral color!” To that, I say YES! Gardens should be full of orange flowers, especially butterfly milkweed flowers.

My love for butterfly milkweed is problematic though, they are not easy plants to grow. Most difficult plants I just write-off as being too finicky for the difficult climate in which I live but butterfly milkweed is native, so I should be able to grow them! AHHHHHH! Anyway, after many fits and starts (killing many plants in the process) I’ve successfully kept ONE plant alive for three years. It gets a little bigger every year, so very slowly, and I haven’t stopped holding my breath. Here it is in various stages of bloom:





2 thoughts on “Asclepias, my difficult love

  1. I bought my first asclepias last year – Asclepias incarnata, with a pink flower. It was past bloom when I bought it. I planted it and it is about to flower this year. I spread some of its seeds around it, and I have about 20 babies coming up. Let me know if you’d like some seeds from my plant this year. They aren’t orange, but they are asclepias. Last year I sent seeds to Christopher of Outside Clyde. Oh, I live in the Mid-Atlantic. I’m not sure where you are, but if asclepias is native there, you should be able to grow this one.

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