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butterfly weed seeds for sale

Butterfly Weed Seeds

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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:

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.

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.

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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. 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 have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

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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

Butterfly Weed Seeds

Asclepias tuberosa

  • HOW TO GROW
  • FAST FACTS
  • REVIEWS
HOW TO GROW

Sowing: In late fall, direct sow butterfly milkweed seeds just below the surface. Germination will take place in the spring, after the last frost. When the seedlings appear, thin to the strongest plant; seedlings usually do not survive transplanting, since they resent any disturbance of their roots. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and refrigerate for 30 days before direct sowing.

Growing: Young plants should be watered until they become established; mature plants can tolerate drought, and the roots will be damaged by excessively wet soil. This plant grows slowly, and it may take 2-3 years to produce flowers. Though not invasive, this plant will eventually spread if left to drop its seed. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Deer avoid this plant. If aphids become a problem, dislodge them from the plant with a strong stream of water.

Harvesting: This makes a striking cut flower. Because the stems contain no milky sap, these flowers tend to have a longer vase life than most milkweed varieties. Cut the stems long, choosing flowers that have just opened.

Seed Saving: After the plant finishes flowering, 3-4″ narrow pods will form. Be sure to harvest butterfly milkweed pods before they split and the silky fluff carries the seeds away on the wind. As soon as the seeds inside the pod ripen to their mature brown color, remove the pods and spread them out to dry. Split open the pods and take out the silky seed material. Remove the fluff from the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Pleurisy Root, Orange Milkweed

Latin Name: Asclepias tuberosa

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

US Regions: Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 4,200

Stratification: Cold/Wet for 4 Weeks

Germination Ease: Stratify 4 Weeks

Sunlight: Full Sun, Part Sun

Height: 24 Inches

Color: Orange

Bloom Season: Blooms Early Summer, Blooms Late Summer

Uses: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Honeybees, Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant

Review By ryan wallengren
Cool packaging

As I type, I’m stratifying these seeds in the fridge.. Also purchased the “showy” variety, looking forward to the colors!

Review By seed grower
well packaged

Seeds arrived well packaged.Should be high germination rate. Super pleased.

Review By louise billings
Monarch mania

Thanks for the prompt shipment! Seeds are planted and I can’t wait for the plants to mature!

Review By JE
Butterfly Weed Seeds

Thank you Everwilde I am so pleased with your products and services. I have been using your farms for a few years and recommend you to all my friends. Fast service, great varieties, excellent seed packets and very good results when planted!!

Review By Melissa Anthony
Very good

Fast shipping. The plants have not sprouted yet but it is not the season.

Review By Timothy Gillane
Stratification

Planting now (Nov.) so they can stratify for next year. Looking forward to a nice treat next year or later.

Review By Mattia
Fast Service

I received my seed very quickly and the packets came with detailed instructions/resources on how to start your seedling, milkweed being a little different than most.

DESCRIPTION

IN-STOCK ORDERS SHIP THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY VIA THE US POST OFFICE.

One of the most striking of native plants, Butterfly Weed lights up the prairies with its blazing orange flowers. Monarch Butterflies thrive on this plant, so it is a must for any butterfly garden on sandy soil. It thrives in rocky or sandy soil, typically in open fields or along roadsides.

Butterfly Weed, one of the most striking of native plants, lights up the prairies with its blazing orange flowers. Butterfly milkweed seed thrives in rocky or sandy soil, typically in open fields or along roadsides. One of its common names, pleurisy root, refers to an old remedy for lung ailments that contained this plant. At one time, the silk from Butterfly Weed seed pods was spun for fabric or used for stuffing pillows; in World War II, school children gathered the silk to provide a cheap filling for soldiers’ life jackets. Commercial attempts to make use of this abundant plant included the manufacture of paper, fabric, lubricant, fuel, and rubber; eventually these became impractical and were abandoned. Though this plant is toxic to most animals, butterflies are immune to the plant’s poison and actually become rather poisonous themselves as protection from predators.

HOW TO GROW

Sowing: In late fall, direct sow butterfly milkweed seeds just below the surface. Germination will take place in the spring, after the last frost. When the seedlings appear, thin to the strongest plant; seedlings usually do not survive transplanting, since they resent any disturbance of their roots. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and refrigerate for 30 days before direct sowing.

Growing: Young plants should be watered until they become established; mature plants can tolerate drought, and the roots will be damaged by excessively wet soil. This plant grows slowly, and it may take 2-3 years to produce flowers. Though not invasive, this plant will eventually spread if left to drop its seed. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Deer avoid this plant. If aphids become a problem, dislodge them from the plant with a strong stream of water.

Harvesting: This makes a striking cut flower. Because the stems contain no milky sap, these flowers tend to have a longer vase life than most milkweed varieties. Cut the stems long, choosing flowers that have just opened.

Seed Saving: After the plant finishes flowering, 3-4″ narrow pods will form. Be sure to harvest butterfly milkweed pods before they split and the silky fluff carries the seeds away on the wind. As soon as the seeds inside the pod ripen to their mature brown color, remove the pods and spread them out to dry. Split open the pods and take out the silky seed material. Remove the fluff from the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

FAST FACTS

Common Names: Pleurisy Root, Orange Milkweed

Latin Name: Asclepias tuberosa

Species Origin: US Native Wildflower

Type: Native Wildflowers

Life Cycle: Perennial

USDA Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

US Regions: Arid/Desert, Plains/Texas, Midwest, Northern, Northeast, Southeast

Seeds per Ounce: 4,200

Stratification: Cold/Wet for 4 Weeks

Germination Ease: Stratify 4 Weeks

Sunlight: Full Sun, Part Sun

Height: 24 Inches

Color: Orange

Bloom Season: Blooms Early Summer, Blooms Late Summer

Uses: Attracts Pollinators, Attracts Honeybees, Attracts Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant

Light up rocky or sandy soil with the blazing orange flowers of butterfly weed! Just plant our butterfly milkweed seeds and you’ll have a field full of flowers.