Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) boasts juicy, bright orange blooms that attract pollinators all summer long. Clusters of flowers are held upright on strong stems, serving nectar and pollen on a silver platter. Not only does it cater to Monarchs, but it is frequently visited by Black and Zebra Swallowtails, Sleeping Orange, Fritillary butterflies, and much more. The blooms last for over three months, and when they finish, crescent-shaped seed pods take their place.
Milkweeds, including Orange Milkweed, are essential for the Monarch lifecycle. Their relationship includes more than just swapping nectar for pollination. Caterpillars exclusively feed on their leaves, which are filled with cardenolides. Cardenolides are stored in the bodies of Monarch caterpillars and butterflies as a defense against predators. Without Milkweed, we wouldn't have Monarchs!
Plant size: 2' tall x 2' wide
Light: full sun (6+ hrs/day)
Hardiness: USDA zone 3-9 (Find your hardiness zone)
Pollinator value: attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and is the host plant for Monarchs
Notable features: fragrant, great cut flowers, long-blooming, deer resistant, multiple seasons of interest, low maintenance
Pot size: one quart
Plant name: Asclepias tuberosa