Bloodflower, Swallow-wort, Butterfly Weed, Mexican Milkweed, Scarlet Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Asclepias (ass-KLE-pee-us) (Info)
Species: curassavica (ku-ra-SAV-ik-uh) (Info)
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Annuals

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing:

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Red-Orange

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)

Auburn, Alabama

Toney, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Hereford, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona (2 reports)

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Calistoga, California

Canoga Park, California

Ceres, California

Chula Vista, California

Clayton, California

El Sobrante, California

Elk Grove, California

Fremont, California

Fresno, California

Garden Grove, California

Grass Valley, California

Long Beach, California (2 reports)

Los Angeles, California

Richmond, California

San Anselmo, California

San Leandro, California

San Mateo, California

Santa Clara, California

Yorba Linda, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Wilmington, Delaware

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)

Clearwater, Florida (2 reports)

Daytona Beach, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Meade, Florida

Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Fountain, Florida

Gibsonton, Florida

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Hollywood, Florida (2 reports)

Homosassa, Florida

Hudson, Florida

Interlachen, Florida

Inverness, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (3 reports)

Kissimmee, Florida (3 reports)

Largo, Florida

Longboat Key, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Miami, Florida

Molino, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

North Port, Florida

Ocoee, Florida

Odessa, Florida

Old Town, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida (2 reports)

Orlando, Florida (2 reports)

Palm Coast, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida (2 reports)

Port Orange, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Riverview, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Saint Augustine, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida (2 reports)

Sanford, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Satellite Beach, Florida

Sebastian, Florida (2 reports)

Sebring, Florida (2 reports)

Sorrento, Florida

Spring Hill, Florida

Starke, Florida

Tampa, Florida (2 reports)

Titusville, Florida

Venice, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

Welaka, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida (2 reports)

Winter Garden, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Hartwell, Georgia

Roswell, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Villa Rica, Georgia

Haiku, Hawaii

Itasca, Illinois

Nilwood, Illinois

Derby, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Versailles, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

Norco, Louisiana

Prairieville, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Falmouth, Maine

Annapolis, Maryland

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Florence, Mississippi

Madison, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Mccomb, Mississippi

Helena, Montana

Lincoln, Nebraska

Otoe, Nebraska

Hudson, New Hampshire

Lambertville, New Jersey

South Orange, New Jersey

Verona, New Jersey

Sag Harbor, New York

West Babylon, New York

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

Holly Springs, North Carolina

Polkton, North Carolina

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Portland, Oregon

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Monessen, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Wrightsville, Pennsylvania

Charleston, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Laurens, South Carolina

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Woodlawn, Tennessee

Alice, Texas

Allen, Texas

Alvin, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas (4 reports)

Baytown, Texas

Belton, Texas

Conroe, Texas

Dallas, Texas (2 reports)

Deer Park, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas (3 reports)

Freeport, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Garland, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Houston, Texas (4 reports)

Kerrville, Texas

Killeen, Texas

Kurten, Texas

La Porte, Texas

La Vernia, Texas

Lake Jackson, Texas

Lockhart, Texas

Los Fresnos, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

Mesquite, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Pasadena, Texas

Plano, Texas (2 reports)

Port Arthur, Texas (2 reports)

Portland, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Roanoke, Texas

Round Rock, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Santa Fe, Texas

South Padre Island, Texas

Spring, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Mc Lean, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Cabin Creek, West Virginia

Beloit, Wisconsin

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

33
positives
4
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Negative

On Jan 14, 2015, KCClark from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is NOT a plant that should be planted anywhere in the US where migratory monarch butterflies can be found. It can interfere with the monarch migration and help spread a protozoan parasite that adversely affects monarchs. Research was published in January 2015 detailing how Asclepias curassavica adversely affects monarchs in the southern US. I don't think I'm allowed to post URLs but you can Google "Plan to save monarch butterflies backfires" to find an article that has a link to the research.

My experience with it in central Ohio is it is not an annual. It has been coming back up in my yard for 5 years even though I don't let it go to seed.

Positive

On Mar 27, 2014, nbaltz from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:

Such a beautiful and productive plant that flowers nearly all year in Phoenix. My plants are scattered throughout the yard from full shade to morning-only sun as the Phoenix summer heat tends to stress this milkweed. The seed pods pop in the winter spreading tiny white feathery seeds around. Hummingbirds go crazy over the brilliant red/yellow flowers and the queen/monarch caterpillars are such a delight during migration. A must have for every yard in the south.

Positive

On Jul 26, 2012, keithp2012 from West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Originally I had bought this plant from a greenhouse to attract Monarch Butterflies. I read it will not survive the cold. My plants spread hundreds of seeds all over. Not only next year did a few plants come back that were planted in sheltered areas like under shrubs, I had loads of seeds survive the snow and frost of winter and sprout late spring which amazed me as they were growing wild without my help. I've even had seeds emerge almost 6 years later when they were dormant under old soil that was recently turned and the seeds sprouted! Where I live can be 7a or 7b so plant file should be updated! I hope more people let there's set seed and plant them in the ground.

Positive

On Feb 13, 2012, rockportannie from Rockport, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

A must have in Texas gardens. The monarchs will flock to your yard. Seed collection is very easy - a milkweed "bug" - only plant it comes to and isn't harmful - makes the plant seed pods open. LOVE LOVE IT!

Positive

On Aug 9, 2011, mcrousse from Holly Springs, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I grow this one from seed every year, as it is not hardy in my garden in zone 7b. I have had no problems with it seeding all over my garden (I wish!). I collect the seeds every year. They wintersow quite well, and I put the seedlings into the garden to grow in time for the monarchs to arrive in august. it's their favorite host plant. I grow tuberosa and incarnata as well and they always pick curassavica first.

Positive

On Jul 3, 2011, CatladyDane from Orlando, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant easily thrives in a garden where it takes immense effort to grow most others. (This spot in full sun dries out terribly and is often used as a latrine by neighbor cats.) I also have a successful plant in a rather shady back garden. I use "homemade horticultural oil" (1 Tbs cooking oil & 1 Tbs non-degreasing dish shop in a gallon of water) to eliminate those yellow aphids when they show up. And I seem to have more butterflies since I acquired these plants. I no longer worry about this plant when it seems to have died...it always comes back.

Neutral

On Jun 14, 2011, Nana444 from Versailles, KY wrote:

I planted mine several years ago. It is beautiful when it blooms and monarch catapillars do love it. But mine does not seem to grow very large nor spread. Each year it comes back but never bigger than the year before. Not sure if it is the location or the soil.

Positive

On Jun 13, 2011, GardenerForever from Colchester, VT wrote:

I live in northwestern Vermont (Zone 5a). I planted this beautiful plant last spring, and to my surprise it came back this year, and has buds right now. It died down to the roots, but started growing this spring again. Very pleased to see it come back this year - I had a hummingbird that seemed to enjoy it last year. The orange was a nice contrast to the purples, pinks and yellows in my garden.

Positive

On Jun 13, 2011, jjacques from LE TAMPON
Reunion (French) wrote:

Not sure if anyone mentioned it so far but this species also has a nice cultivar with pure yellow flowers, leaves are also somewhat paler then on the orange flowering ones, I grow the two in the garden and monarchs seem not to make any difference!

Positive

On Jun 30, 2010, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

I purchased some 'butterfly weed' on sale with no Latin name. It bloomed wonderfully all last fall and was quite the stunner for many weeks. It did not come back but I noticed several seedlings near where the mother plants were planted. I believe it to be this Mexican butterfly weed. And Wow! Lots of baby seedlings of this colorful milkweed. It does get aphid infestation but that has not damaged the plants. A real keeper and longer blooming than A. tuberosa.

Positive

On Apr 10, 2009, Levdrakon from Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I originally ordered seeds for this plant from a Monarch butterfly website back in '91 when I was living in Monterey, CA. The plants did fairly well, but didn't like the cool weather and shady conditions it had. It bloomed, but didn't set seed the first couple years. Fortunately, my original seed remained viable during those years so I was able to restart some each spring. Finally, I got one to develop seed so I was resupplied.

I then moved here to Colorado Springs with a warm sunny backyard. The plants exploded into growth, bloomed, and produced copious amounts of seed. I'm now set for life, I think. The first summer the seed pods opened and seeded themselves in several of my other potted plants which were then over-wintered indoors. The following spring I had even more pla... read more

Positive

On Mar 21, 2009, Meredith79 from Southeastern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

If grown from seed in my Z5 - I must start it indoors 8 weeks before last frost. If I want to be able to collect seeds for growing again the next season, even earlier. It is a tender perennial here and will not reseed itself, nor come back from it's roots. It is an easy way to have a lot of Milkweed for the hungry Monarch caterpillars. Which are another reason for the need to start it early here. They arrive about mid July - so you need to have your plants practically ready to set seed. Otherwise they will eat it all up before it has the chance. They eat it down to stems - but tend to leaves some seed heads, if they are there. They will eat the blossoms too.

Positive

On Mar 7, 2009, kenga from Beloit, WI wrote:

I bought a package of seeds a few years ago, picturing red-and-yellow and yellow butterfly weed, supposedly Asclepias Tuberosa and hardy to zone 5. It seeded very readily in my upper-edge-of-zone-5 garden, made huge 3 ft plants that flowered abundantly from about July on. We had lots of Monarchs camping out in our garden. Well, the supposed zone 5 plants did not come back the next spring but had left hundreds of seeds behind that sprouted liberally everywhere. I had so many I potted them up and gave them away, and I still had about 200 plants (most were red-and-yellow) that summer, and even more Monarchs. Thousands of seeds were flung all over so I'm hoping for a liberal crop this year, too. I'm sure what I'd gotten was really Asclepias curassavica. Even though the original plants don't ... read more

Positive

On Feb 6, 2009, steadycam3 from Houston Heights, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Here in Houston zone 9a, I can just cut the canes which get almost 5 feet tall, and stick them in the ground or in a pot and they take root and grow. About 1 week ago, my biggest plant looked like a caterpillar bush... not a leaf left on it and covered with about 40 big fat caterpillars. The next day I found them crawling everywhere looking for a place to "hang". I and my neighbors enjoy them so much. I have not seen any "volunteers" from previous year's seed. It's probably too windy here. My seeds may be in Oklahoma by now! I was disappointed to find the huge strange-looking aphids but I used the soap and they were gone quickly enough. Ive planted lantana, pentas and Mexican flame vine for the adult Monarchs to use as nectar plants.

Neutral

On Nov 12, 2008, mjsponies from DeLand/Deleon Springs, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've considered a milkweed for my butterfly garden but have been concerned about it spreading. We have a horse farm and I don't want it to get out into my pastures. I posted on the Herb forum about it and a gal in Tx said she said not all varieties are invasive. Which ones aren't? Also, I've got a protected spot (corner) where I have my herb garden by the house and porch. Would it grow in a pot there (lots of sun) if I put it in a pot and deadheaded it? I could keep a close eye on it there.
Thanks for any advice

Positive

On Nov 8, 2008, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I only planted this 1.5 yrs ago and it seems butterflies haven't quite acknowledged my garden as butterfly friendly. My plant was splindly so I cut it and rooted it in water. After 3 weeks I had 2" roots and potted them since it is Nov. I will transplant inground next spring.

MARCH 2014: Six yrs after orig posting, butterflies hv recognized my garden as butterfly friendly and consume this plant readily. There has been moderate spread but since this plant is so vital to butterflies and my garden has. the space, I have no problems with it.

Positive

On Oct 20, 2008, Dirty_Thumbs from Clearwater, FL wrote:

This plant was bought in May of 2008.

It spreads out very quickly. I bought it for our Butterfly Garden. It is interesting to see it has popped up in other areas in my yard from the seeds blowing around.

I keep it cut back between 30" - 38" Tall & try to keep it under 48" Wide. Due to the seed pods popping open before I can collect the seeds, It can overtake your garden if you don't watch it.

Humminbirds have been seen hanging around this plant in addition to butterflies & bees.

Positive

On Aug 9, 2008, lavender4ever from (Louise) Palm Bay, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Was given some seed and started the plants late in May and not planted out until June. It grew quickly in the worst clay in my garden and bloomed late July with vibrant lovely flowers. The plant is robust and healthy and I will definitely add this one to my list of fun annuals to grow! Such colors!

Positive

On Jun 12, 2008, caroldb from Kenner, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant grows very well in the New Orleans area. Many nectar/pollen insects and hummingbirds are attracted to it. It self-seeds easily. It can also be transplanted if you remove a large and deep amount of soil with the roots.
The major problem is with severe infestations of yellow aphids. Infestations have been so bad that some plants have been killed. According to info on other pages, the normal aphid predators are poisoned by them because they absorb the toxic sap from the milkweed. I also have problems with milkweed assassin bugs infesting the plants and attacking insects that are attracted to the plants.

Positive

On Sep 3, 2007, rebecca30 from Cary, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I recieved mine in a plant trade from one of the members on DG. It did very well for me, starting from young plants. I hardly watered it and it had very showy blooms. I noticed in early August this year the Monarch butterfly larvae were feasting on it. Great, I love to promote butterfly production. The seed pods were a long pointy paper looking seed pod which contained the "fly away"seeds. Each seed was tethered to a light white fiber that helped it to be drifted by the wind. I collected all the seeds I could and plan to plant the seeds in my new raised garden bed for next year. Considereing the extream drought of this year, I would definitely recommend this plant for conserving water needs!!

Positive

On Jul 15, 2007, DonnaA2Z from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I got a few seed pods from my neighbor's plant (who has no idea where it came from). Every single seed sprouted and all seedlings are doing excellent. They do very well in our area.

One thing though, pinch out the centers to have the plant branch out more. It doesn't take much pinching to get it to branch. I'm doing this before they are large enough to bloom so that they will be fuller and provide more blooms.

Positive

On Mar 26, 2007, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

I'd the flower in a pot for the first time last year. I just dug it up and planted into my 'cutting garden' for the first time. Very tolerant plant. One surprise characteristic that I've discovered. That this plant doesn't mind being in a boggy situation. It tolerated drought too. (sounds like that of Mexican Pertunias -- scary!). I found my potted planted wilted due to lack of water. Soaked it in bucket of water and forgot it for an extended time (talking about neglected to both end of extremes). It seems to prefer more boggy than not enough water. The plant was left in a pot all winter long, and there is signs of life. The seed head ripen and cracked open and would be flown off. Wherever it lands it germinates.

Note: In my garden these can be treated as perenni... read more

Positive

On Feb 12, 2007, hymenocallis from Auburn, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

In SCentral Alabama this plant gets eaten to the stubby stem late every year by Monarch butterflies. I tried A. incarnata and they won't bloom here even though they grow. Amazingly they find my little stubby incarnatas and eat them too. To feed butterfly adults curvassiaca works as well as incarnata.

Positive

On Nov 30, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bloodflower, Swallow-wort, Butterfly Weed, Mexican Milkweed, Scarlet Milkweed Asclepias curassavica is Naturalized in Texas and other States, and is a magnet for butterflies.

Positive

On May 3, 2005, Kauai17 from Leander, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

My dad has this plant growing wild at his house. He dug me up one last year and we loved it. It bloomed all summer long. It puts out these very vibrant orange/yellow flowers that the butterflies go crazy over. Mine got really tall and it was covered in blooms. It did die down over winter, but I am happy to see that it is coming back up very quickly.

Positive

On Feb 23, 2005, jestelleoan from Tyler, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have had very good luck with both of these plants. I live in the piney woods of East Texas and my land is part shade and they do fine. They do die back and I have to reseed each year. We are realy in zone 8a but the map puts us in zone 7b. I was so happy to hear that they will reseed so I'am going out right now and see if I have any comming up. Thank you all for all of the good information about this beautifull plant. Joan

Neutral

On Feb 22, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

In my native Maryland, zone 7b, I grow this as an annual. It's helpful to start the seeds inside in early spring or even sooner or else you won't get blooms until late winter or early fall.

Since these are growing as annuals I can't say my plants ever have the chance to get that tall and so the butterflies usually pass over the curassavica for one of the taller perennial milkweeds.

I've noticed curassavica's leaves are a lot more tender than my perennial, hardy milkweeds and so the monarchs prefer the foliage as larval food.... and so do the aphids which cover the plants almost entirely.

The other milkweed bugs, such as the beetles, usually pass this milkweed over because it never becomes thick enough for them to bore into or provide substantial... read more

Positive

On Jul 24, 2004, shortcm from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7b) wrote:

In Delaware and South Jersey, the Butterfly Weed grows in sunny fields, particularly on the perimeter of corn fields. It doesn't get more than 2 feet high (because we have shorter summers?). Ladybugs like it, also. I tried to transplant it several times, and if it made the transfer, it would only grow one season. The tap root may have to be intact, and deeper than the frost line? I'm trying a purchased plant this year.

Positive

On Jun 16, 2004, shenaflorida from North Port, FL wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants it is beautiful and the butterflies do loveit I too have had the little yellow aphids with black legs on mine and they seem to be eating holes in the leaves so I have been washing them off as i dont want to kill the butterflies. I will have to transplant them to a new bed because they are getting to tall for the front of the bed they are in but thats ok. ill just replace them with shorter plants.

Positive

On Jan 5, 2004, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

My Asclepias curassavica is in full flower today, January 5, 2004, in Sebring, Florida. It tends to go through cycles of more and less flowering every couple months or so all year. This plant is really tough here, and can escape from cultivation if discarded carelessly.

Positive

On Jan 3, 2004, debikm from Starke, FL wrote:

Wonderful butterfly plant. I have mine interplanted with passifloras and have had lots of butterflies. The aphids don't seem to damage mine, just colonise the plants, so I don't spray, since i don't want to kill the butterflies. Lots of seeds, so they're great for sharing with everyone. I planted mine and ignore them and they thrive. My kind of plant.

Positive

On Oct 21, 2003, chrislyn from La Porte, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

An excellent butterfly attractor and a great multiplier. One plant will make many before too long. It self seeds and it will...everywhere. I have moved several out of my main bed to the fence row and also have several potted for sale. The downfall to mine has been that it is susceptible to rust. I at first was using pesticides before I realized the butterfly feed on it...use fungicide instead. Clip off any diseased leaves...it likes to be pruned...new shoots will appear free of disease...keep it sprayed if the rust comes back. It has been a battle for me but I have enjoyed watching it grow. Like tall soldiers...plant in the back for sure. I also had problems with aphids but they didn't seem to damage the plants like rust. Put a pot in the front yard for Halloween...fall color. :-)

Positive

On Aug 14, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx

This is an excellent tall xeriscape plant that takes at least a year to become established with more branching enabling more blooms. The seeds float off and readily create new plants that can be transplanted or potted and given to friends and neighbors. This must be accomplished when the plants are small. It has a long tap root, so it is somewhat tricky to transplant once established. If heavy invasions of aphids and other insects are not removed, the leaves become an unattractive, mottled yellow/brownish color. Butterflies and bees love this plant which blooms constantly from June to early September in my zone. Being a perennial, it dies back after the first hard freeze and reappears in early spring. Do not overwater because the leaves will yellow and d... read more

Positive

On Jul 21, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

i planted one plant last year, the red with yellow and orange and by the following year i had more all over the place. since they are so tall i had to transplant to the back. it was a little difficult to get the roots, but they finally came up. This year i only had one, but now they are slowly coming back and again all over the place. but i really love this plant they are a little invasive but the blooms make it okay.

Positive

On Jul 19, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I bought my A. curassavica for a few dollars at a discount store last summer labeled "scarlet milkweed" and after some research I finally found the scientific name. The little cheap plant became almost five feet tall in its pot last summer, growing in part shade in zone 8b, with beautiful red and yellow small blooms until frost. I even had new seedlings growing in the pot. Last October I transplanted the mother plant and several of her seedlings into a well fertilized and heavily mulched raised planting bed and this spring, after our coldest winter in 100 years in Northcentral Florida, they all came back up. Unfortunately our rainy summer has lessened the flower display, but the mother plant is sporadically blooming. Bright yellow-orange aphids were a problem this spring, but I persis... read more

Positive

On Feb 15, 2003, albleroy from Wavre/ greenhous +/- 2500 species, IA wrote:

Very nice pictures from a very interesting plant.

Positive

On Jan 9, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I like the colorful flowers which attract butterflies. This plant blooms through the winter when almost everything else is dormant. It is a great larval host plant for the Monarch and Queen caterpillars. Spider mites and Oleander aphids (the yellow-orange ones with black legs) can be somewhat unsightly, though they don't seem to harm the plant. Caterpillars have eaten the growing buds completely away and the plant will sprout back from lower on the stems or at the base of the plant. It will do the same after a hard freeze. It also grows readily from seed.

Neutral

On Feb 5, 2002, Floridian from Lutz, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Scarlet milkweed is an erect, evergreen perennial shrub, often grown as an annual in colder climes. It gets about 3-4' tall and usually has a few pairs of symmetrical branches. The flowers are orange and red and 2-4 inches across, blooming continuously from spring until autumn. A cultivar with yellow flowers is available.
Scarlet milkweed is easy to grow, thriving in all types of soils in Zones 8B - 11. It remains evergreen in zones 9B-11, but if it does freeze to the ground, it usually comes back in spring. Scarlet milkweed can be started from cuttings, and it grows quickly from seed.
Butterflies and other nectar-sipping insects are attracted to the blossoms, and both monarch and queen butterflies lay their eggs on scarlet milkweed
All milkweeds are poisonous if in... read more