Milkweed (Asclepias) lifespan

Riley Foster riley at
Wed Jun 4 07:43:16 EDT 1997

Ron Lane (rl7329 at wrote:
 : Approximately 5 years ago I planted a section of my butterfly garden
: in Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed) and another section in
: Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed). Both sections limped through
: their first year and had banner blooms in their 2nd and 3rd years. By
: the 4th year they were fading and now this summer I have no incarnata
: and a 'slim picking' of tuberosa.
: I have not read anywhere that this is normal for these plants to be
: short-lived. Other plants planted at the same time have continued to
: thrive: monarda, coneflower, rudbeckia, liatris, asters, etc. I
: believe tuberosa doesn't like wet roots in the winter but I would have
: thought that the incarnata a small distance away (downhill) would
: thrive.
: I would appreciate hearing about other's experiences with these plants
: as I plan to keep them even if I must grow some from seed every 2-3
: years.
: PS: anyone have a source of seed for Asclepias curassavica?
: Ron Lane
: RL7329 at
: Central NJ, USA

	I have much the same experience with tuberosa, the plants slowly
faded away. My incarnata is much younger & looking pretty good. I found
curassavica seeds in a Park's Seed catalog. It really draws the monarchs
both as larval food & nectar for the adults. I've planted all my saved
seed & must wait til summer's end to harvest more. I've spread the seeds
among my gardening friends so as to have a source if any early frost
ruins my plants before harvest (it happened one year).

          "The more necessary anything appears to my mind, the more
           certain it is that I only assert a limitation."

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