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Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) the 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year

Looking for an outstanding low maintenance perennial for your garden? Check out the Perennial Plants of the Year  selected for their adaptability and outstanding performance in the landscape. The 2017 winner is an essential food for monarchs and a pollinator and gardener favorite – the butterfly weed.

You’ll enjoy the orange blossoms in meadow, prairie and even semi-formal gardens.

Hardy in zones 4 to 9, butterfly weed grows best in full sun with well-drained soil and is drought tolerant once established.  Mark its location in the garden to avoid accidently digging up this late-to-emerge perennial.

Deadhead faded flowers to encourage more blooms and if you want, to prevent the plant from reseeding.

Cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors. Extend their vase life by placing freshly cut flowers immediately in warm water. Then move to the refrigerator for 12 hours or into cold water.

A bit more information:  Butterfly weed goes by several common names.  Its butterfly appeal explains the most commonly used name. Other common names include butterfly milkweed as it is a member of the milkweed family.  Orange milkweed for the brilliant orange flowers and pleurisy root, for its use in treating pleurisy. Native Americans chewed the tough root as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary illnesses.

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