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can i grow butterfly weed in a container

Can i grow butterfly weed in a container

Growing milkweed in containers is the preferable method of growth for some. Container-grown milkweed can be overwintered in a building or garage and placed back outside in spring.

Milkweed is among the primary plants to draw the Monarch butterfly to our yards. We all love to see them flitting through the summer flowers in our beds, so we want plants to attract them and encourage them to return. Since milkweed is sometimes considered an unwanted specimen in the landscape and can be invasive, we might consider growing milkweed in a pot.

There are more than 100 species of milkweeds that grow in North America, and not all of them are hosts for the Monarch. Some draw Monarchs for nectar, but butterfly lovers are likely looking for those plants that encourage the dropping of tiny eggs on them. Let’s take a look at some that are native or naturalized plants and that can grow successfully in a container.

Container Grown Milkweed Plants

Info suggests combining potted milkweeds with nectar-rich flowers in the same container to provide necessary nourishment to the Monarch and other butterflies. This encourages them to return to the area where containers are, so locate them near a seating area where you can best enjoy them.

Use a large plastic container for ease of moving and winter storage. Use a light-colored one that is deep, as root systems of milkweed plants can grow large. Some have large taproots. A rich and well-draining soil encourages the best performance of the plants. You can start them from seed, for a cost-effective project.

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How to Grow Milkweed in a Pot

A Monarch Waystation simply is a garden that has both milkweed and nectar plants and just as you can grow these plants in the ground, you can also do it in containers that you keep on your deck, balcony, front steps or elsewhere around your home. All you need is pots, soil, plants and water.

Care: Through the summer, you can deadhead the flowers to encourage further blooming. Collect seeds from annuals to use next year and collect seeds from perennials to share with friends or scatter outside.

Recommended plants for Container Garden Waystations:
Milkweeds (native, perennial): Butterflyweed and Swamp milkweed
Nectar plants (native, perennial): asters, goldenrods, rudbeckia/coneflowers, liatrus, coreopsis
Nectar plants (non-native, annual): Lantana, verbena, zinnia, cosmos, Mexican sunflower

Can i grow butterfly weed in a container

Butterfly bushes can grow well in containers, provided the right potting mix and container location. Several dwarf varieties, like the Lo and Behold and Pugster series, are especially sized for container growing since they are slightly more or less than 2 feet high and wide each summer. Placing the container where it receives at least 6 hours of sun a day, preferably 8 hours, ensures the best flowering. Then, check some of the tips below for soil and watering of butterfly bushes grown in containers vs. those grown in the ground.

Planting Butterfly Bush in Pots

If a butterfly bush is in a weatherproof container, it can stay outside in winter. In colder climates at the edge of a variety's growing zone, it is best to leave the container where it gets some winter sun. Leave the stems on a butterfly bush after leaves drop. This protects it better in winter than if it is pruned in fall. For a container that will last long, choose a high-end glazed ceramic container.

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Winter Care For Butterfly Bushes in Pots

Normally, butterfly bushes need no fertilizing, but they can benefit from yearly balanced feeding when grown in containers. Avoid a high nitrogen fertilizer, which can cause the shrub to grow so quickly that the stems are weak.