Butterfly-Weed or Pleurisy Root or Orange Milkweed or Butterfly Milkweed or Butterfly Weed (ass-KLE-pee-us: too-BER-ohh-suh) Asclepiadaceae.
Plants grow 24' tall and produce many clusters of claw shaped flowers that are loved very much by butterflies. Each plant has a different shade of red, orange and yellow flowers. When done flowering plants produce long pods of seeds. With an early sowing will bloom the first year in about 12 weeks, but best flowering occurs after three years of growth, long lived plants once established. Best in well draining soils in full sun - will grow well even in poor soils as long as they are not wet for any length of time. Will flower well in part shade. Nice for cutting.
Soak seeds in hot water for 2 days, changing the water every 12 hours with fresh water, Surface sow- light helps with germination. Seed germination in one to three weeks at F. 70.
Plants produce long, white taproots; and once established are best left alone. If one plans on transplanting them, the move should be done while the plants are one or two years old. In the spring the new growth is late to come out of the ground, so be careful about planting anything new on top of their location, or in working the soil around there placement. Plants can be started in the winter and grown under 24 hour lights, use a deep pot (over 6 inches deep) and do not over water. You can start about 30 plants in a 6x6 inch pot, transplant out in mid spring after any danger of a hard frost. Sometimes plants will go dormant later in the year, but will start growing again the next spring.
Soak seeds in hot water for 36 hours, changing the water with fresh water after 12 hours, Surface sow, light needed for best germination in 1-3 weeks at F 75. If little germination after 4 weeks use four weeks in the fridge.