Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) Quick Facts:
Host plant to Monarch and Queen butterflies, nectar to many
Native to most of US, except far western states
Hardy in USDA zones 3-8
Full to partial sun
Clusters of small pink flowers bloom throughout the summer
2-6 feet tall
Space plants 1 1/2 – 2 feet apart
Seeds need 30 day cold stratification or fall sown
Swamp Milkweed Plants (Asclepias incarnata, or Rose Milkweed)
These native Swamp milkweed plants will arrive in a 3.5 inch pot and are ready to be placed in the ground.
They don’t really need a swamp! Although they are true to their name and will do great in wet conditions, Asclepias incarnata will also grow well in medium moisture once they are established.
Swamp milkweed is welcome in the butterfly garden setting because it does not spread aggressively like some other milkweeds. It is a perennial and will die back in the fall to return in the spring.
Many butterflies will visit to feed from the attractive flowers but this milkweed is especially attractive to female Monarch butterflies because they love to lay their eggs on this plant. The hatching caterpillars will eat until they are large enough to make their beautiful jade chrysalis. About 10 days after that a new Monarch butterfly will emerge.
Swamp milkweed plants grow about 3′-4′ tall usually (sometimes taller) and they prefer moist locations. They even do well in wet clay soils and poorly drained soils. In their native areas they are often found close to streams or marches. However, we grow them successfully in normal garden settings. For hot, dry areas you may want to consider Butterfly Weed Milkweed. They like full sun but will also do well in part shade.
The plants bloom in early to mid-summer with rose shades from pinks to purples. The flowers are fragrant.
The Monarchs need milkweed to help reverse their declining numbers. This is a lovely plant for both us and the butterflies!
CFL Monarchs (verified owner) –
I ordered four of these guys. Shipping was fast and packaging was great! They arrived unscathed and I took them out of their packaging, watered them, and they are doing wonderfully. They are beautiful, strong plants. Can’t wait for monarchs to start laying eggs on these plants. Will definitely order more in the future!
suzyqq2006 (verified owner) –
I received my Swamp Milkweed Plants yesterday….As well as my Tropical Milkweed Plant. Both were Packaged very well, both were in great shape. Today they are doing very well…Can’t wait to see the blooms, i love the color and hope the butterflies will also…Thank you!!
ncr228 (verified owner) –
If you are new to milkweed or just curious about helping the monarchs this is a great starting point. Last year, I purchased my first plant from joyful butterfly strictly to help the monarchs. My plant arrived healthy & beautiful. I planted it in a small flower bed late spring & soon after the monarchs started visiting the plant daily. Then I started finding eggs, lots of eggs! I can’t explain how amazing it felt to provide for these beautiful butterflies. I had at least 10 caterpillars that survived & grew into beautiful butterflies from this one plant. The plant is easy to care for and the flowers are beautiful. All the pollinators love it! I’m located in Central Indiana & I put this plant in a full sun to part shade bed. By Fall it was about 4.5′ tall.
Juanita Hershberger (verified owner) –
I bought 4 swamp milkweed plants last spring and could not have been happier with my purchase! The plants were packaged perfectly and well protected. The plants were healthy and thrived all summer and are growing back this spring. So easy to care for and my cats loved them!! Will be buying more this year and would recommend Joyful Butterfly without hesitation!!
Gary Holman (verified owner) –
Ordered from another source and got three 3-inch sticks in a baggie of dirt. Ordered from Joyful Butterfly and received 24 inch green plants, with leaves, in 3″ pots. Plants were well packaged. SAME PRICE!
Debra Furlin (verified owner) –
I always buy my milkweed from Joyful Butterfly. Not only are the plants healthy and unscathed when received, but I can be sure that they have never been sprayed with insecticides. I learned the hard way when trusting other sources. If you are a serious butterfly enthusiast, always take this seriously!