Start your butterfly waystation, or add a new variety!
Brightly colored butterfly weed is a butterfly magnet, attracting many kinds of butterflies to its colorful blooms. Monarch butterfly larvae feed on its leaves but
seldom harm this native plant. It is slow to emerge in the spring, so mark its location to avoid accidental digging before new growth starts. If you don't want it to spread, deadhead faded blooms before seedpods mature. It is sometimes called milkweed because it produces a milky sap when cut.
In late fall, direct sow just below the surface, or moist cold stratify for 4-6 weeks before planting in spring. When the seedlings appear, thin to the strongest plant; seedlings usually do not survive transplanting, since they resent any disturbance of their roots. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and refrigerate for 30 days before direct sowing.