Our plant of the week is the Asclepias tuberosa, also known as butterfly milkweed. This bright orange flower is native to Louisiana, and does well in central, west, and north Louisiana. Native milkweed species attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Milkweed plants are also the sole food source of the now endangered monarch butterfly in their larvae stage, making them incredibly important.

Butterfly milkweed does well in well-drained, acidic to neutral soil, and full sun. This plant does not transplant well because of its deep taproots, so you should plant it by seed in your garden. It will take a few years to mature and produce flowers, but doesn’t need much tending besides plenty of water during the first growing season. Butterfly milkweed is drought tolerant, making it a good choice for our area during summer.

The best time to plant them is in the fall, as butterfly weed seeds germinate best in the cold of winter. In spring, your butterfly milkweed will start growing.