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growing butterfly weed in pots

Growing butterfly weed in pots

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.

Container Grown Milkweed Plants

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.

How to Grow 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.

Growing butterfly weed in pots

If you grow non-native milkweed varieties, you can buy new seeds/plants annually or you can overwinter in containers. This gives you larger plants to start the season and also saves time and money getting new plants started.

This is an exciting native option for containers because it blooms repeatedly with pretty white flowers similar to swamp milkweed. Perennis leaves also stays viable for monarch caterpillars throughout the season. Suggested for USDA hardiness zones 6-9. Grow Annually or overwinter in cooler regions

Asclepias Perennis (Aquatic Milkweed)

But why would you want to grow milkweed in a container?

Cynanchum Laeve (Honeyvine Milkweed)

In our northern garden, we typically use potted tropical milkweed once to raise monarchs to release for the fall migration. Make sure to take the disinfecting precautions listed above if you reuse potted plants in the same season…this goes for any milkweed variety you are reusing.