Skip to content.

Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed

Buy Any 3 Perennial Plants or Bulbs & Save 20%
Buy Any 3 Perennial Plants or Bulbs & Save 20%. Cannot be applied to previous orders. Limited time only. While supplies last.

Short Description

Prolific bloomer from June to August.

Full Description

An excellent choice for its vividly orange blooms, these easy-to-grow, long blooming natives make lovely cut flowers and are magnets for butterflies, particularly Monarchs. Crown-shaped flowers form clusters up to 2" across. In the fall, upright pods crack open, releasing seeds glistening with silky hairs. This butterfly milkweed is perfect in meadows, wildflower gardens and as dried pods in arrangements. Sow outdoors in spring after last frost or in late summer.
Buy this product
Item # Product
Order
Quantity
Price
Item#:20484
Order: 1 Plant
- +
$15.99
Add to Wish List

In Stock

Item#:30452A
Order: 1 Pkt. (40 seeds)
- +
$5.19
Send me an email when this item is back in stock
Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed, , large
Item #: 30452A
1 Pkt. (40 seeds)
Customers also bought these products

Thank you!

Add to Wish List

This product is currently out of stock; please click on the "Notify Me" and we will send you an email when it is available.

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.

3-10

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.

12-36 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

24-36 inches

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

Fall, 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

Shipping Now

Restrictions:

Item 20484 cannot ship to: AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
See all Burpee plant shipping restrictions for your state

the burpee

difference

100%

satisfaction
guaranteed

non-gmo
since 1876

Images

Enlarge Photo
Print Page

Video

Introduction to Perennials
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
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
  • Annuals

    Asclepias

    Asclepias
    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Feb-22 - Last Date: Mar-07
    First Date: May-02 - Last Date: Jun-01
    Jan
    Feb
    Mar
    Apr
    May
    Jun
    Jul
    Aug
    Sep
    Oct
    Nov
    Dec
  • Perennials

    Asclepias

    Asclepias
    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Mar-07 - Last Date: Mar-21
    First Date: Sep-03 - Last Date: Sep-30
    First Date: Mar-28 - Last Date: May-16
    First Date: Jul-23 - Last Date: Aug-06
    Jan
    Feb
    Mar
    Apr
    May
    Jun
    Jul
    Aug
    Sep
    Oct
    Nov
    Dec

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:

  • Seeds benefit from being chilled for 4 weeks in the refrigerator before being planted.
  • 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, 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. While monarch caterpillars do occasionally feed on it, it is not their preferred food. The flowers, however, do attract the pollinating adult butterflies for nectar.
Zone
3-10
Sun
Full Sun, Part Sun
Height
12-36 inches
Spread
24-36 inches
Bloom Season
Fall, Summer
Resistant To
Deer, Drought
Ornamental Use
Borders, Cut Flowers
Planting Time
Fall, Spring
Genus
Asclepias
Life Cycle
Perennial
Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed is rated 3.3 out of 5 by 29.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gorgeous Orange Blooms I purchased 3 of these plants, and they arrived as the tiniest of plants. "Twigs" as others have described them. They were put into the soil in the spring of 2018 (no fertilizer or anything special) and didn't do much that first year. Definitely not much growth and no flower. Now in 2019 they are full of dark hearty leaves and bright orange blossoms. My other purchase, the Ice Ballet, are huge and spreading and starting to overshadow these small plants. The asclepias tuberosa are roughly 1-2 feet tall right now. Very pretty.
Date published: 2019-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Paper towel, plastic bag, refrigerator I purchased seeds at a local hardware store. After a couple weeks between damp paper towels in a plastic bag in the refrigerator I pressed the seeds in a grid pattern onto damp organic soil mix in a shallow container with a clear ventilated lid. I put the container on a windowsill that receives morning sun which warms the soil. At least 85% germinated. I planted them outside as the first true leaves were forming on some of the seedlings, probably a little too early. Still many of the seedlings survived the transplant and are growing. I have 3 patches of about 6 seedlings each and don't expect many if any flowers this year, but hope they will be beautiful next year and for many years to come.
Date published: 2019-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Seeds were easy to start I started these seeds indoors and they were very easy to grow. I just transferred them outside. I'm looking forward to the pretty orange flowers!
Date published: 2019-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful! All seeds germinated indoors within a few days. Very excited to get these guys in the ground this year. Never disappointed with Burpee products
Date published: 2019-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite perennials I've read this is a difficult plant to grow from seed but that has not been my experience at all. Winter sowing in milk jugs works. I grew my first plant from seed years ago. I was never a fan of orange but this plant quickly changed my mind. I now have it all over the yard, all plants from seed. It blooms from late spring to mid fall if I deadhead it. Bees and butterflies love it and so do I! I can't say enough good things about this wonderful plant.
Date published: 2018-12-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from They sent a matchstick! I purchased one of these in April for my butterfly garden. I have been buying from Burpee for at least a decade and I trusted them to send a viable plant. They sent a stick, about 2 inches tall with about 8 hair-thin roots and a card stating that it was alive, but dormant. I'm a botanist- I understand dormancy, but this plant had no chance of surviving. Whoever packed it for shipment should have known that. I planted it in a pot and put it under gro-lights with the hope I could coax it back to life, but no luck. Shame on you, Burpee Seeds, for sending such a pitiful excuse for a plant!
Date published: 2018-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprised me I bought a packet of these last year, a few sprouted, they took a long time to germinate but I did get flowers from them. This year I planted some in a pot outside to see if they would sprout, it took a month to see germinate. So my best piece of advice is to be really patient and keep your soil moist.
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dormant when shipped in Spring I wish somewhere it said that I if ordered in Spring I would receive a completely dormant (dead-looking) plant upon Spring shipping. We will see if anything emerges in Fall and I am guessing I will not even see flowers until NEXT Spring. How convenient that the guarantee runs out then.
Date published: 2018-04-14
  • y_2019, m_10, d_17, h_7
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_2.0.13
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_0, tr_29
  • loc_en_US, sid_prod000004, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_burpee