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Asclepias incarnata, Ice Ballet

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Short Description

Forms gorgeous clouds clustered with small, fragrant, tiny white ¼” flowers. Lovely in a vase.

Full Description

From early to midsummer, ‘Ice Ballet’ forms gorgeous clouds clustered with small, fragrant, tiny white ¼” flowers. Atop 3-3.5" tall stalks with lance-shaped, dark-green 3-6” leaves, flowers are a magnet to hummingbirds and butterflies. After the flowers come attractive seed pods (to 4" long), which release silky-haired seeds borne by the wind. Flowers stay fresh in a vase. Western milkweed variety’s compact, clump-forming plants are easily grown in medium to wet soil in full sun.
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Item#: 22411
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$12.95
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.

3-9

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun, Part Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

36-48 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

24-36 inches

Bloom Season The time of the year when this product normally blooms.

Spring, Summer

Resistant To Adverse garden conditions, such as heat or frost, deer or rabbits, that this product can tolerate well.

Deer, Drought

Plant Shipping Information

Plants begin shipping on:

Sep 12, 2016

Restrictions:

Item 22411 cannot ship to: AA, AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

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Video

Introduction to Perennials
Perennials return year after year blooming on their own. Watch this introduction and discover how easy and rewarding growing perennials can be.
Watch video
Perennials Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite perennial plants in a garden setting. In this video- Shasta Daisy, Ornamental Grass, Butterfly Bush, Echinacea and Hydrangea.
Watch video

How to Sow and Plant

Asclepias may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden in summer, or grown from potted plants.

Sowing Seed Indoors:

  • Sow seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date using a seed starting kit
  • Sow seeds 1/8-1/4 inch deep in seed-starting formula
  • Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F
  • Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days
  • As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours.
  • Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • If you are growing in small cells, you may need to transplant the seedlings to 3 or 4 inch pots when seedlings have at least 2 pairs of true leaves before transplanting to the garden so they have enough room to develop strong roots
  • Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning.  This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • In milder areas, sow directly in the garden after all danger of frost.
  • Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth. 
  • Sow seeds evenly and cover with 1/4 inches of fine soil. 
  • Firm the soil lightly and keep it evenly moist. 
  • Seedlings will emerge in 14-21 days.
  • Thin to at least 12 inches apart when seedlings have three sets of leaves.

Planting in the Garden:

  • Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. Asclepias is sensitive to clay soils.  
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.  Be careful as asclepias is sensitive to transplanting.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination. 
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time.  Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry.  One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary.  Good air movement is also important.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Garden-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • “Deadhead”, remove spent flower heads to encourage continuous flowering and prevent seed development.
  • Remove and discard foliage after a hard frost in fall. 
  • In colder regions, apply another layer of mulch (1-2 inches) after the ground freezes in fall. Evergreen boughs (from Christmas trees) provide additional protection. Remove this mulch in the spring.
  • Asclepias does not divide well as it has a tap root. To propagate, wait until the plant seeds itself (in this case do not remove spent flowers) and transplant seedlings when they are young.

Growing Tips

  • Many gardeners do not cut back perennial flower seed heads in the fall, but wait until early spring before the new foliage appears. This provides food for wildlife over the winter.
  • For flower arranging, cut when blooms are 2/3 open.
  • Note that butterfly weed is not the same as milkweed as it does not provide food for monarch butterfly larvae, but the flowers do attract the pollinating adult butterflies for nectar.
Zone
3-9
Sun
Full Sun, Part Sun
Height
36-48 inches
Spread
24-36 inches
Bloom Season
Spring, Summer
Resistant To
Deer, Drought
Ornamental Use
Beds, Borders
Planting Time
Fall, Spring
Genus
Asclepias
Life Cycle
Perennial
Asclepias incarnata, Ice Ballet is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 4.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Monarch host and nectar source! I purchased two of the Asclepias incarnata, Ice Ballet, from Burpee and planted in spring 2016 with the intent to provide a caterpillar host and nectar source for Monarch butterflies. The plants have grown quite lovely and rapidly, and have been an easy plant requiring practically no care beyond some initial watering to help get established. They are planted in an area that receives morning and afternoon sun. I spotted a Monarch visiting the flowers on July 11, and on July 14 found fat and healthy Monarch caterpillars feeding on the leaves. Thank you, Burpee, for offering a plant that supports the Monarchs!
Date published: 2016-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Takes a while to bloom, but surprisingly hardy This is a swamp milkweed but despite the "swamp" name it handles ordinary garden conditions well. One of mine is even doing great in a clay-heavy, part shade spot. Be aware that small plants will NOT bloom the first year (the negative reviewers seem not to have known this), and possibly not even the second, in an ordinary garden environment. And also be aware that they are always leggy and weedy. It's a true weed! "Weed" is in the name, for heaven's sake! But they are wonderful once established. Since they love water, and if you want them to grow faster, plant them in a bioswale, rain garden, or in the wettest spot you can find. This is one of my "superstar" plants in Zone 7. If you want blooms the first year, purchase a large plant from an in-person nursery -- with this species, there's no other way.
Date published: 2016-06-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No blooms in 2015 I purchased this plant & placed it around other butterflyweed plants, which all bloomed & went to seed. This plant grew well but never bloomed. I will look to see if it returns this year and perhaps blooms the second year.
Date published: 2016-01-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No Blooms Yet I was annoyed when this plant and several others I ordered arrived one full month before my frost free date and I believe I had read that it would be sent at the appropriate time. It was long and leggy and has yet to bloom even though it was planted in my garden mid April and it is now early Sept, I am doing my part to try to Save the Monarch nd am looking forward to seeing the clouds of white blooms on this Incarnata at some point. The foliage still looks good and it has bushed out a bit so my fingers are still crossed for blooms before Nov !
Date published: 2014-09-07
  • 2016-08-27T06:39CST
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