Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis) Plant Quick Info
Host to Monarch, Queen, and Soldier butterflies, Nectar plant to many
Partial to full sun, may tolerate partial shade
Perennial zones 6 to 11, evergreen in some areas
Native to South and Midwest – mostly coastal plain and along Mississippi river
Prefers rich, loamy to sandy soil
Wet to moist soil, will tolerate temporary standing water
1-3 ft. tall
Sow seeds with no treatment
Deer and rabbit resistant – seeds may be eaten by white-footed mouse
White flowers with pink tips, spring and summer blooming, often 1st year
Container Gardening option
Plant Aquatic Milkweed for Monarchs
Asclepias perennis is a wonderful milkweed host plant for Monarch butterflies. In addition to Monarchs, it is a host plant for the less common Queen and Soldier butterflies. If you have an area that stays too wet for other milkweeds that need well draining and dry soil, you must try this milkweed! Hungry caterpillars will enjoy eating the leaves (and sometimes the flowers) while the butterflies will find delicious nectar in the lovely white flowers.
If you prefer container gardening, this is one milkweed that can grow in a container. It grows large enough to support caterpillars, but not too large for a container. As moisture is necessary, just make sure you take care of its watering needs!
Match with Other Water-loving Plants
If you have plants with similar moisture needs in the same area, you will save yourself the headache of overwatering some plants and underwatering others. Aquatic Milkweed and Water Parsnip can both tolerate temporary standing water. Cardinal flower, Joe Pye Weed, Common Buttonbush, and Swamp milkweed all love moist soil. As water-loving plants, it is smart to keep these together. Butterflies will thank you for this variety of host and nectar plants!
Buy this water-loving milkweed today! All of our plants and seeds are safe for all butterflies and pollinators.
Photo Credit for Monarch on Aquatic Milkweed Flower: Creative Commons license
Photo by Roy Cohutta Brown