Ode to Asclepias Tuberosa! Butterflyweed Tips & Tricks


Oh, how I love Butterflyweed!  The long blooming, stunning orange of Tuberosa will always be Queen of My Garden

Asclepias tuberosa is easy to start from seed but often doesn’t bloom in the first year. However, if you start them early enough you may get blooms the first year!  

Here are a few tips to making sure your Tuberosa steal the show, like mine do

Start your seeds early and give them LOTS of light:

After necessary cold stratification, I start mine in seed starting containers (usually deep take out containers), but you can also start them directly in pots. 

Place seeds, cover ever-so-slightly and keep moist. 

After germination (usually 10-15 days), I begin “operation no-leggy-seedlings” to ensure sturdy stems, with lots of light and agitation. I either place an occilating fan near my seedlings for a few hours a day (yep, hours!) or I just pass my hand over the tops of the seedlings whenever I pass by or water them.  

Did I say lots of light? Put them in the sunniest window or up to 14 hours under grow lights.  

I gently pick them out, careful of the roots, and re-pot Asclepias tuberosa around 2”. 

Off with their heads


Pinch or cut off tip of seedlings (at 4” ish inches) to enable auxin hormones to make more heads for bushier blooms. It works!

Yes, you can transplant:

Tuberosa doesn’t love being transplanted because of the long tap root. But dig deep and as wide as you can. If you need to move it, do it as early in the season as possible. Baby the roots and soak it in a bucket of water while you prep the new location.

Worth the wait:

They show up late in the garden. Mark their place. Hang tight til June! But, they make up for it with their long blooming period.  

Save the pods!

Save the pods and share Asclepias tuberosa seedling with your friends next year!