Tropical Milkweed

 In
Tropical Milkweed

Asclepias curassavica
Milkweed, Tropical Milkweed, Flor de Sangre, Hierba Maria
1.5

4 feet
1.5

2 feet
Tropical Americas
  • Full Sun
  • Part Sun/Shade
  • Medium
  • Flowering

About This Plant

Sun/part shade; an herbaceous perennial with yellow orange and red flowers spring through frost. It attracts monarch butterflies as well as many aphids and ladybugs. Monarchs use milkweeds exclusively for their eggs, and as larval hosts for their caterpillars; it’s been suggested that they evolved on this plant.

If you’re using tropical milkweed to attract monarchs, be aware that growers’ pesticides will be lethal to your caterpillars. Shop for milkweeds that have been grown without pesticides.

Maintenance

Expect milkweed to be heavily grazed by caterpillars and aphids, especially in autumn; this is a part of a natural cycle, so resist the urge to spray pesticides on your insects.

Unlike many milkweeds, it is fairly evergreen. Research suggests this may promote overwintering monarchs that get ravaged by fungal disease and spread it to others. Best practice, for now: cut tropical milkweed back after Thanksgiving. Think of it as a way of encouraging your butterflies to fly on south.

Features

Plant Type:
Perennial
Size:
1.5-4' H, 1.5-2' W
Sunlight Requirements:
Full Sun, Part Sun/Shade
Soil Types:
Clay, Sandy, Thin, Well drained
Wildlife:
Butterflies, Butterfly Larvae
Flower Color:
Orange, Red, Yellow
Bloom Time:
July, August, September
Freeze Hardy:
Yes
Invasive:
Yes
Caution:
None
Coupon Eligible:

This plant goes well with

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