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Milkweed Plants

Q.Butterfly Weed

Zone Waukesha WI 53186 | christinalbrown24 added on April 21, 2020 | Answered

Do butterfly plants (Milkweed) have seed pods that fly around in the fall and self plant all over the garden and yard? I’m especially interested in “INCARNATA” which I think has pink blossems. I live in Wisconsin where this is a native plant. Does the pink milkweed provide the food necessary for Monarch Butterflies, or do I have to plant the orange variety? Thank you, Chris Brown

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 21, 2020

Asclepias incarnata attracts egg-laying Monarch females as do most plants in the ascelpias family. The orange one, asclepias tuberosa, is a wonderful perennial as well as Monarch host. It blooms on and off all summer, more so than the other varieties in my opinion. The tuberosa variety doesn't have the milky sap as the other varieties do, so many gardeners prefer it. In my yard, I have found Monarchs seem to be more attracted to the incarnata or the curassavica varities than the tuberosa, however. You can plant several different kinds of milkweed and you might attract more Monarchs. I have not experienced a lot of reseeding but you can collect the mature seeds in the fall and plant them yourself in the spring.


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