Undeniably gorgeous in leaf and bloom, everyone who can should grow our native perennial “Showy Milkweeds” as they are a host for Western Monarch Butterflies. This distinctive ‘Davis’ variety is easier and more vigorous than the species, and we love the silvery, downy foliage. Thrives in poor, dry, well-drained soil as well as regular garden soil. FRAGRANT flower clusters are 4-5” across of velvety pink and white star-flowers appear in late Spring to late Summer, then goes deciduous. But don’t worry, it will return next Spring with more stems.
Now this is important: Asclepias speciosa looks terrible in a 4” pot and ships dormant until June. But don’t dismay – just plant it – water it a bit the first year and don’t fret if it disappears – it’s just going temporarily dormant. Once established, you’ll be delighted with the fruits of your patience and so will our Monarchs, who can smell a milkweed a mile off. Look for their incredible chrysalises, glossy turquoise and emerald ringed with unbelievable glimmering gold beads.
*Due to CA agricultural regulations, we’re required to treat Asclepias plants with BT (a non-toxic, naturally occurring biological larvicide) to help combat the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). If you plan to introduce Monarch caterpillars to this plant, we recommend letting it establish for one season (3 mo.) before doing so to ensure it is large enough to provide sufficient food and the BT has had time to wear off.