Milkweed – Asclepias Incarnata “Ice Ballet”

A couple of yeas ago I decided that instead of making the backyard simply food producing or pretty, that what I really wanted to do is to create a butterfly and pollinator garden.

As part of that, I planted 1 milkweed in the garden. It grew to be about 2 feet high and bloomed in the first year. I planted it as a seedling from a garden center.

Milkweed Incarnata Plant
Milkweed Incarnata Plant

It has truly beautiful white flowers that look lovely. This plant far exceeded my expectations – I planted it for butterflies but the plant itself is very pretty.

Bumblebee on Milkweed "Incarnata"
Bumblebee on Milkweed “Incarnata”

In addition, it attracts pollinators like crazy. It’s entertaining just taking a peek and seeing what’s there today. For example, what the heck is this?

Insect on milkweed plant
Insect on milkweed plant

I haven’t seen monarchs yet, but they are not easy to find. In fairness, this was the first year that we saw a monarch at all in the garden, so I count that as a Win.

Plant Profile

Difficulty Moderate
Height 2’-4’
Width 2’-3’
Zone 3-9
Sun Full Sun
Soil Normal, average, clay
Water Average to damp
Sowing 6-8 weeks before frost indoors; be patient – can take up to 3 weeks to see sprouts. Or sow after last frost
Bloom Time July – Sept
Special Needs Has a taproot, try not to move once established
Tips Don’t worry if caterpillars eat the plant down, it will grow back
WARNING Potentially toxic

 

 

 

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