Butterfly Milkweed: PPA’s 2017 Plant of the Year!
It must feel great to have your favorite flower chosen for the Perennial Plant Association’s Plant of the year. The Paintbox Garden shares her story and beautiful photographs about her favorite perennial, the Butterfly Milkweed.
“Despite the plaudits, butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is not the easiest perennial to grow, unless you happen to garden on a sand prairie. It has a deep tap root that makes it rather difficult to transplant. And seeds are often notoriously slow to germinate and grow, sometimes taking 5 years to grow enough to set flower buds. But give it a little rich, free-draining, gravelly soil and lots of sunshine, and watch the pollinating insects pile on. Foremost, of course, is the beautiful monarch butterfly, which uses it – as it does all milkweed species – as food for its caterpillars. If you’re lucky, you might see the female monarch ovipositing on its leaves or flowers.”