Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is a striking perennial that attracts beautiful monarch butterflies to your garden and ensures the continuation of the species by acting as their only host plant. The showy part of its name comes from the way in which this plant grows, looking more like an overgrown flower than a shrub or small tree would. It can grow up to 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, though you should expect some variance in these numbers depending on where you live and how much care you give your plant.
Showy milkweed can be grown in full sun, but will do best with some morning sun and afternoon shade. When planting, ensure that your soil is well-drained and has a pH between 5.5 and 7.0 for optimal growth. It is also best to plant in early spring or late fall when the plants are less likely to get damaged from frost or intense heat. However, showy milkweed can be grown all year long if cared for properly . If you live in a region where winters are harsh and snow covers the ground for months at a time, it’s important to make sure that your seeds are taken out of their protective shell before they freeze. You should also provide them with good drainage so they don’t die from rot during the winter months when water cannot drain freely through the soil.
1. Get an area of your yard or garden ready for planting by digging a hole and fertilizing the soil with manure or compost. 2. Cut off the stems of the milkweed as close to where they meet the ground as possible. 3. Place your milkweed in the hole, cover it with dirt, water it well and let it sit for a few hours before walking on it again so that it can take root properly in its new home. 4. Remember to keep your milkweed watered regularly, but don’t over-water it. The roots need air as much as they need water, so keep the soil damp but not wet. 5. For best results, plant a row of showy milkweed plants together with other native wildflowers like black-eyed susans and goldenrod. 6.
Caring for Your Plant
Showy milkweed is an annual plant that is native to North America, and can be found growing in fields, prairies and other open areas. It grows well in sandy or loamy soil with a pH between 5 and 7.5. The seeds need light to germinate, so they should be planted on the surface of the soil and watered thoroughly. Once the seedlings have grown a few inches tall, they should be thinned out to six inches apart from one another.