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Butterfly Bushes

Q.Will My Orange Butterfly Weed Be Choked Out By The Much Larger Milkweed?

Zone zone 6 | krystalmk added on March 5, 2021 | Answered

Hello, I have been very successful raising large Milkweed in my garden…perhaps a little too successful! The plants are huge and gradually spreading. That is OK, in my informal setting I can let them sprawl. My problem is that I also have a clump of orange butterfly weed about 8 feet away from the main planting area of the bigger milkweed. They are still not very large and I fear the big plants will eventually choke them out. Can butterfly weed be transplanted after it is established? — Thank you

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on March 6, 2021

Butterfly weed has a long taproot and it doesn't transplant well. (Asclepias tuberosa) You could install a root barrier in the ground between the two so it can't cross over. You can buy them in metal or plastic at garden supply stores. It will take some deep digging, about 18 inches, to insert them. Leave about an inch above ground so the roots don't try to jump over.


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