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Swamp Milkweed

Asclepias incarnata

These mounding perennials are the ultimate attraction for butterflies and other pollinators. They have gorgeous pink flowers and bright green foliage that we, and pollinators alike, cannot get enough of!

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Swamp Milkweed Plants for Sale Online 

Asclepias incarnata or Swamp Milkweed is very popular with pollinators and for good reason. Hawkmoths, Swallowtail butterflies, Greater Fritillaries, Monarch butterflies, skippers, bumblebees, and numerous other nectar-seekers will visit this plant daily when in flower. The leaves are a preferred food source for Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars. This plant is of great importance. Asclepias incarnata is a beautiful addition to sunny border gardens, water features, or the butterfly garden. Swamp Milkweed is also good for naturalizing in low spots or other moist areas in the landscape including Rain Gardens.


Hardiness Zone: 3-9
Mature Height: 4 to 5 Feet
Mature Width: 2 to 3 Feet
Classification: Perennial
Sunlight: Full sun
Habit: Upright, clump forming
Flower Color: Lavender
Flowering Season: Mid-June through frost
Foliage: Green, licorice scented
Soil Condition: Prefers dry, average to sandy soil, won't tolerate wet soil in winter
Water Requirements: Water well until established
Uses: Extremely attractive when used as a focal point in the mixed border, mass planting. Attracts pollinators and hummingbirds
Growzone: 3-9 Swamp Milkweed Hardiness Zone

How to Care for Swamp Milkweed

Before you buy a Swamp Milkweed Butterfly Weed Asclepias, make sure to read about the recommended care instructions to keep this plant healthy and thriving.

How do I plant Swamp Milkweed?

How do I plant Swamp Milkweed?

We suggest when planting your newly purchased Asclepias incarnata plants that you dig a hole twice as wide as the root system but not deeper. The most common cause of plant death after transplanting is planting the new plant to deep. That is why we do not recommend planting in a hole any deeper than the soil line of the plant in the pot. A good rule is that you should still be able to see the soil the plant was grown in after back-filling the hole. Agastache Blue Fortune does prefer drier soils in the winter so if there was ever a plant that we would recommend not adding topsoil or compost this is one.

How do I mulch Swamp Milkweed?

How do I mulch Swamp Milkweed?

We highly recommend that you mulch your Asclepias incarnata with either a ground hardwood mulch or a ground cypress mulch depending on your local availability. Any type of mulch will do but cypress or hardwood mulch will be of a higher quality and provide better nutrition overall as they breakdown. Mulching helps to keep weeds away which will compete with your new investment for water and nutrients. A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch is sufficient but remember to take care not to cover any part of the stem of the plant with mulch. Its better to leave a one inch gap of space between the mulch and the stem or base of the plant.

How do I water Swamp Milkweed?

How do I water Swamp Milkweed?

After back filling and lightly compacting the 50/50 mix of existing soil and compost give the Asclepias incarnata a good deep watering. This is not to be rushed. Most of the water you put on the plant at first will run away from the plant until the soil is soaked. A general rule of thumb is to count to 5 for every one gallon of pot size. For example a one gallon pot would be watered until you count to 5 a three gallon pot would be 15 and so on. Check the plant daily for the first week or so and then every other day there after. Water using the counting method for the first few weeks.

How do I fertilize Swamp Milkweed?

How do I fertilize Swamp Milkweed?

Feeding your plants is probably the single most forgotten part of growing healthy long lasting plants. We recommend feeding your Asclepias incarnata in the very early spring and again in mid summer after all new growth has hardened off and it begins to set flower buds. Espoma Bio-tone starter fertilizer is the best product to use at the time of planting. Our ideal fertilizer schedule for you to use is as follows. Apply an early spring fertilizer with a product such as Espoma Plant-Tone at the recommended rate this will give the plant a boost of nitrogen potash that will be needed for healthy foliage and stem growth. Follow this up with another early summer application of Espoma Flower-Tone, this will again provide the necessary nutrients to promote a flush of beautiful flowers. Espoma products are easy to use, just sprinkle around the base of the plant and water it in. Be careful with products such as miracle-grow as these products can burn newly planted plants when not used at the recommended rates. Slow-release fertilizer can help prevent rapid soft growth that is vulnerable to diseases and insects. Because of the importance of this plant to caterpillars we only recommend organic fertilizer be used on this plant.


Frequently Asked questions

How do I prune Swamp Milkweed?


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