An essential addition to any Central Texas garden or flowerbed, the hardy Butterfly weed is essential to the survival of Monarch butterflies. Mature butterflies feed on the nectar produced in the flowers, while the foliage provides food for their larvae. The brilliant orange and yellow flowers are showy in massed plantings, but fascinating up close with their intricate detail. Butterfly weeds typical grow to around three feet in height and are native throughout the eastern and southern regions of the country.
Butterfly weeds are tough and need very little care. They can thrive in poor soils, low water conditions, and harsh sun. With the exception of a few species of milkweeds that are adapted to swampy conditions, this plant is extremely drought-tolerant as long as it has well-drained soil. Butterfly weeds are generally not tolerant of shade, so give them as much sun as you can. It is also important to note they are very slow to come up in the spring, so note where plants are to prevent damaging the tender new growth.